• Be Sunscreen Savvy This Summer !

    by Juliana Nahas, MD
    on Jun 4th, 2017

Summer is here, and parents are looking for the best sunscreens to protect their children from sunburns.

I get asked frequently which brand of sunscreen I would recommend to my young patients, so I turned to the 2017 report by EWG ( Environmental Working Group) for the best product recommendations. I was surprised to learn that nearly 75% of sunscreens in the USA didn't adequately protect from sunburn (and ultraviolet light) and even contained some harmful ingredients which disrupt the endocrine system ( like oxybenzone) and the immune system ( like retinyl palmitate and other Vitamin A additives), or cause skin allergies ( oxybenzone and methylisothiazolinone).

This is why it is important to know which are the safer sunscreens to use on your infants , children and teenagers, and to not rely only on sunscreen for sun overexposure, but to also use shade, sunglasses, hats and body covers that block the sun rays. No product will last on the skin for more than 2 hours, so you will need to reapply the sunscreen, especially after getting out of the water. Avoiding the most intense sun between 11 AM and 4PM is also highly recommended.

Now, although a little sun exposure every day is beneficial for Vitamin D generation in the skin, we want to avoid prolonged exposure in young children due to their susceptibility to blistering sunburns, which can lead to increased risk of skin cancer later in life.

The Best Kid-Friendly sunscreens of 2017

Some of the Brands that made it on the "Most Toxic Sunscreens to Avoid" are the following ( Be wary of High SPF claims):

It was also suggested in the EWG report to stay away from spray sunscreens, because they are very difficult to apply evenly and coat the skin sufficiently to provide adequate protection, not to mention the chemical inhalation going directly into you and your kids lungs ! Even the FDA has raised some concerns about spray sunscreens, but they haven't banned them yet ! You simply can't believe or trust the marketing terms on the bottle.

Author Juliana Nahas, MD Pediatrician at Covington Pediatrics

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