Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Sunblock’

Le Top "Sunny Ducky" Flower Print Sundress and Sunhat

We all need some sun exposure; it’s our primary source of vitamin D, which helps us absorb calcium for stronger, healthier bones. But it doesn’t take much time in the sun for most people to get the vitamin D they need, and repeated unprotected exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays can have serious effects.

Most kids rack up between 50% and 80% of their lifetime sun exposure before age 18, so it’s important that parents teach their children how to enjoy fun in the sun safely. With the right precautions, you can greatly reduce your child’s chance of developing skin cancer.

Facts About Sun Exposure
The sun radiates light to the earth, and part of that light consists of invisible ultraviolet (UV) rays. When these rays reach the skin, they cause tanning, burning, and other skin damage.

Sunlight contains three types of ultraviolet rays: UVA, UVB, and UVC.

1.  UVA rays cause skin aging and wrinkling and contribute to skin cancer, such as melanoma. Because UVA rays pass effortlessly through the ozone layer (the protective layer of atmosphere, or shield, surrounding the earth), they make up the majority of our sun exposure. Beware of tanning beds because they use UVA rays as well as UVB rays. A UVA tan does nothelp protect the skin from further sun damage; it merely produces color and a false sense of protection from the sun. 

Le Top "Ship Ahoy!" Nautical Bucket Hat

2.  UVB rays are also dangerous, causing sunburns, cataracts (clouding of the eye lens), and effects on the immune system. They also contribute to skin cancer. Melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, is thought to be associated with severe UVB sunburns that occur before the age of 20. Most UVB rays are absorbed by the ozone layer, but enough of these rays pass through to cause serious damage.

3.  UVC rays are the most dangerous, but fortunately, these rays are blocked by the ozone layer and don’t reach the earth.

What’s important is to protect your family from exposure to UVA and UVB, the rays that cause skin damage.

Avoid the Strongest Rays of the Day
First, seek shade when the sun is at its highest overhead (usually 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. in the northern hemisphere). If kids must be in the sun between these hours, be sure to apply and reapply protective sunscreen — even if they’re just playing in the backyard. Most sun damage occurs as a result of incidental exposure during day-to-day activities, not at the beach.
Even on cloudy, cool, or overcast days, UV rays travel through the clouds and reflect off sand, water, and even concrete.

Use Protective Eyewear for Kids
Sun exposure damages the eyes as well as the skin. Even 1 day in the sun can result in a burned cornea (the outermost, clear membrane layer of the eye). Cumulative exposure can lead to cataracts (clouding of the eye lens, which leads to blurred vision) later in life. The best way to protect eyes is to wear sunglasses.

Not all sunglasses provide the same level of ultraviolet protection; darkened plastic or glass lenses without special UV filters just trick the eyes into a false sense of safety. Purchase sunglasses with labels ensuring that they provide 100% UV protection.
 
Not all kids enjoy wearing sunglasses, especially the first few times. To encourage them to wear them, let kids select a style they like — many manufacturers make fun, multicolored frames or ones embossed with cartoon characters. And don’t forget that kids want to be like grown-ups. If you wear sunglasses regularly, your kids may be willing to follow your example. Providing sunglasses early in childhood will encourage the habit of wearing them in the future.
 

Le Top "Beechy Keen" Waves and Bubble Print Beech Dress and Sunhat

Put on a Hat
Covering up your child’s arms and legs with light clothing can provide some protection against UV sun radiation. Having her wear a hat with a brim that shades her face can also increase your child’s protection against the sun. 

Use Sunscreen Consistently
Lots of good sunscreens are available for kids, including types for sensitive skin, brands with fun scents like watermelon, long-lasting waterproof and sweat-proof versions, and easy-application varieties in spray bottles. I even saw a sunscreen at the store the other day that you can spray on kids while they are wet!

Common Mistake…
Completely ignore sunscreen claims of waterproof and/or sweat-proof. According to Carol Schuler of Coolibar, “The term ‘waterproof’ has undergone inadequate testing and the term ‘sweat-proof’ has had no testing to substantiate the label. The FDA has asked sunscreen manufacturers to voluntarily remove this marketing term from their labels.”

What matters most in a sunscreen is the degree of protection from UV rays it provides. For kids age 6 months and older, select an SPF of 30 or higher to prevent both sunburn and tanning. Choose a sunscreen that states on the label that it protects against both UVA and UVB rays (referred to as “broad-spectrum” sunscreen). For sunscreen to do its job, it must be applied correctly. Be sure to:

  1. Apply sunscreen whenever kids will be in the sun.
  2. Apply sunscreen about 15 to 30 minutes before kids go outside so that a good layer of protection can form. Don’t forget about lips, hands, ears, feet, shoulders, and behind the neck. Lift up bathing suit straps and apply sunscreen underneath them (in case the straps shift as a child moves).
  3. Don’t try to stretch out a bottle of sunscreen; apply it generously.
  4. Reapply sunscreen often, approximately every 2 hours, as recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology. Reapply after a child has been sweating or swimming.
  5. Apply a waterproof sunscreen if kids will be around water or swimming. Water reflects and intensifies the sun’s rays, so kids need protection that lasts. Waterproof sunscreens may last up to 80 minutes in the water, and some are also sweat- and rub-proof. But regardless of the waterproof label, be sure to reapply sunscreen when kids come out of the water.

Le Top "School of Fun" Tee, Shorts, and Bucket Hat



Keep in mind that every child needs extra sun protection. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that all kids — regardless of their skin tone — wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Although dark skin has more protective melanin and tans more easily than it burns, remember that tanning is also a sign of sun damage. Dark-skinned kids also can develop painful sunburns too – so be safe and have fun in the sun this summer!

Read Full Post »

paulridley2Paul Ridley, age 25, is 79 days into his solo, unsupported, trans-Atlantic journey in a yellow, 19′, 400lb row boat named ‘Liv’ – in memory of his mother, Katherine Ridley, who died of skin cancer in 2001. Inspired by his mom’s adventurous nature and with his newfound passion for cancer research fund-raising, Paul’s goals are to become only the 3rd and youngest person to ever row across an ocean, and in doing so, raise $500,000 for cancer research at the Yale Cancer Center. He set off  in early January in the Canary Islands (off Morocco) and has been putting in 8 to 13+ hours a day at the oars. The entire journey will require him to row more than 3000 nautical miles. He’s closing in on his goal and, weather permitting, is scheduled to pull into Antigua (in the Caribbean) at the end of March.

After seeing a few pictures of Paul, you might ask yourself why a person with a fair complexion and his mother’s battle with skin cancer would undertake such a long, grueling trip and – among all the other inherent risks – expose himself to so much sun? Well, Paul’s got plenty of sunblock, and for you apparel lovers out there – special ‘threads’ that block UV rays. Yup, science and technology is at work in apparel, too!

Did I mention Paul is undertaking this physical and mental challenge completely unsupported? That blows my mind! No sail, no motor, no support crew to bail him out if things turn ugly (which, hopefully, they won’t). This really hits me when I think about what it must be like out there, day after day – with no signs of human life – except for the 2 passenger planes Paul spotted up around 40,000′, the ocean liner that ‘brushed by’ (2 miles away), and yesterday, a bug landed on his deck (a sign that land is near)! He gets all giddy about such sightings. paulridley1
Paul’s daily posts often focus on the interesting marine life he encounters, the physical and mental challenges he faces, his emotional ups and downs, his progress, what motivates him, and the ever-changing weather conditions. One of my favorite posts (from day 59) includes a description of how dramatic and dominating the constellations appear when viewed from a tiny row boat in the middle of the ocean.

As a tech-nut, I’m also amazed at Paul’s ability to stay in daily communication (via a solar powered satellite phone) with his support organization, Row for Hope, back in Connecticut. The information he relays immediately makes its way to the Web, into his blog, and even into his new Twitter page. Very cool. Here’s a guy out in the middle of the ocean – completely on his own – whose daily thoughts and reports are readily available to anyone around the world connected by computer (or even mobile phone!) to the Internet. Internet marketers/le•top e-tailers – are you listening? More on easily using some of these powerful technologies (to reach your target audience) is coming in future tech posts, so stay tuned!

Meanwhile, check out Paul’s Website and monitor his progress – it’s a fun, educational and inspiring thing to do with your kids. Also, please consider making a donation if you can. Due to the economic downturn impacting us all, Paul is falling short of his fund-raising goals – he could really use our assistance.

Read Full Post »