Posts Tagged ‘ sun safety ’

I Have a Confession to Make

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

I’m a health editor and last week my daughter got a sunburn.

After a fun day at the beach to celebrate Father’s Day, I gasped when I saw my 7-year-old’s pink back and shoulders as she stepped into the shower. I don’t know how, but I had completely neglected those areas when I sunscreened Julia up. It wasn’t a hideous burn, but it was noticeable enough that her 2nd-grade teacher asked what happened (“I told her my mom did it because she forgot to put sunscreen on me,” she recounted, only partially accurately) and it was bad enough for her skin to peel all week. Oh, and it made enough of an impression on her that she told me, “In health the teacher said that if you get one bad sunburn you can get cancer.” Just in case I wasn’t feeling awful enough.

So when she started pool camp yesterday, she was as covered up as I could get her (that’s her in the photo). Between my two daughters, I’ve amassed quite a collection of SPF swimwear and rashguard tops over the years. Right now I’m into Snapper Rock, which has a great line of SPF50+ suits for kids. Besides their cute designs (you can’t tell that Julia’s suit bottom has pink, aqua, and white stripes; my other daughter’s has a sweet ruffle all around), I like the fact that the company has a philanthropic side. Snapper Rock donates money to the Children’s Melanoma Prevention Foundation, and donates swimwear to a camp for underprivileged children in New Hampshire.

Like all high-quality swimwear, Snapper Rock’s stuff isn’t cheap. But right now they’ve got a great sale going on where swim tops are going for $15. Get ‘em while you can!

Add a Comment

Today is Melanoma Monday

Monday, May 6th, 2013

I have a confession to make: I haven’t always been good about putting on sunscreen. I remember a few summers in particular—two when I was a lifeguard, the third when I was a canoeing counselor—when I’d hastily slather on a bit of block in the beginning of the summer (never reapplying, of course), then by the end of August, I’d head off to work with perhaps a few dabs on my shoulders and nose. I’ve since reformed my ways, but knowing that 1 in 5 Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime makes me wish I had become sunscreen savvy a little sooner.


In my effort to take better care of my skin now, I asked Latanya Benjamin, M.D., a dermatologist at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Menlo Park, California, to give me (and you!) a quick reminder of sun-safe practices:

  • Look for broad-spectrum sunscreens, which block both UVA and UVB rays, with an SPF between 30 and 50.
  • Check the active ingredients list for titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which are especially good for kids’ sensitive skin.
  • Put it on before you leave your house and reapply every two hours. A golf ball’s worth of sunscreen will cover the entire body.
  • Whenever possible, stay inside or seek shade between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are strongest.
  • In addition to sunscreen, wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and loose fitting, long-sleeved shirts and pants when you’re in the sun.


Finally, I also plan to take part in one of the free skin cancer screenings happening in New York in May. It’s sobering to think that just one blistering sunburn in childhood can double your risk of developing melanoma, but since I can’t change my past, it helps to know that, when caught early, skin cancer is very treatable. Find a screening in your area by clicking here.


 Image: Mom putting sunscreen on her child via Shutterstock.

Add a Comment

How to Protect Your Kid’s Skin This Summer

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Baby wearing sunglassesHow are you keeping your kids safe from the sun this summer?  Are you stocking up on sunscreen or buying SPF clothes like Kara Corridan (Health Director of Parents magazine), who wrote about the special swimsuit she bought her daughter?

If you’re not sure where to start, we have basic primers about sun safety (i.e. What is SPF? What does UVA and UVB mean?), sunscreen selections from American Baby editors,  sun protection clothes and gear recommendations for kids, and more.  Check out the information below to avoid sunburns this season.

Sun Care 101

Sun Care Products

Add a Comment

Parents Daily News Roundup

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Better Grades For Kids Who Take ADHD Meds Early
Children with ADHD who start taking medications as early as fourth grade may be more likely to score better academically than those who start taking medication in middle school, according to a study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics. (via ABC News)

Sunscreen Ban in Schools Anger Parents
State laws prevent schools from allowing students to use sunscreen. (via ABC News)

Kids’ Cereals Are Healthier, But Ads Aren’t
While U.S. food companies are making healthier breakfast cereals for children, they’re also aiming more ads for their unhealthiest products at kids, according to a report issued on Friday. (via Reuters)

Why Kids with Known Food Allergies Are Still at Risk
The majority of allergic reactions in kids are accidental — typically due to caregivers’ forgetfulness or lapses in supervision — but 1 in 9 reactions are triggered by giving known allergens intentionally, a study finds. (via TIME)

Add a Comment

Are You Raising the Next Coppertone Girl?

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Little Miss Coppertone ContestDoes your daughter beg to play outside from sunrise to sunset? Then she just might be the next Coppertone girl.

Coppertone is looking for a real girl to personify the spirit of their iconic cartoon girl. According to Coppertone: “Our little girl symbolizes summer. She is outgoing, energetic, wholesome, charming, and full of optimism.”

If this sounds like your daughter, submit a photo of her enjoying the sun on Coppertone’s Facebook page by June 22. One lucky girl will win a spot in a future Coppertone print advertisement and a dream family vacation!

Click here for more information and the official contest rules.

Read more about sun safety on

Add a Comment

Here Comes the Sun

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Now that it feels like spring is really here (today’s yucky weather in NYC aside), it’s time to start talking about sun safety. In our June issue, we have a whole feature where we answer your most common sunscreen questions.

It’s important to remember that another smart way to protect our skin is to seek shade. Mona Gohara, M.D., a dermatologist, mom of two, and member of the Women’s Dermatologic Society, participated in a cool program last week called Play Safe in the Sun. She and her fellow WDS members “sunproofed” the Grace Church School in New York City by creating a safe, sun-shielded, shaded area in the playground, by integrating sun safety into the school’s curriculum, and by doing free skin checks on school families. (That’s Dr. Gohara in yellow, at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the shade structure at the school, with all the hat-wearing students who’d be benefiting from it!) She shares these tips to help keep your family safe in the sun:

1. Go Green  Plant little trees with your family to add more shade in your backyard, this will help Mother Earth and your skin all in one shot! For those living in a city, choose a different tree to play under with each visit to a park, then go home and learn about it- a great way to promote environmental awareness!  Remember, children who play in the sun between 10 am and 4 pm are at a higher risk for skin cancer later in life.

2. Special Thoughts for Special Spots Use a SPF stick for your child’s eyelids (to avoid product running into the eyes) and lips. In general, remember to reapply a broad spectrum SPF 30 or higher every 2 hours when outdoors or after excessive swimming/sweating.

3. Don’t Slip During That Trip Ultraviolet light easily shines through car windows (and home windows, for that matter!) so make sure to place UV-blocking shields on windows your children are exposed to. This will help them avoid passive, intense sun exposure that can lead to skin cancer later in life.

4. Channel Your Inner Politician: After teaching your older kids about the dangers of indoor tanning, think about ways to contact local politicians, or sign petitions to restrict tanning bed use. As of January 2012, kids under the age of 18 have been banned from indoor tanning in California, and New York State is requiring in-person signed parental consent for would-be tanners between the ages of 14 and 18. Raise public awareness together and save lives.

And here are more important tips from her fellow WDS members:

“Grandmothers can set a good example by providing cute sun protective hats and making a ritual of applying sunscreen before going out.”  —Janet Hickman, M.D., WDS President, retired Virginia dermatologist, mother of three sons and two young granddaughters

Chemical-free sunscreens are great to use on children’s faces to prevent burning eyes that often occur with more traditional chemical sunscreens.”  —Lauren C. Hughey, M.D., associate professor of dermatology, University of Alabama at Birmingham and mother of three young children

When protecting your family, be sure to protect with sunscreen these frequently missed spots: ears, behind the neck, tops of hands, wrists, feet and toes.”  —Latanya Benjamin, M.D., F.A.A.D., F.A.A.P., clinical assistant professor of dermatology and pediatrics, interim director and service chief, pediatric dermatology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital

“Once a month go on an outing and buy a different type of SPF…when you have that family outdoors activity you can share your favorite picks. SPF comes in liquid, spray, solid stick, lip balm and makeup so there is something for every member of the family.”—Wendy E. Roberts, M.D., F.A.A.D., Rancho Mirage, California, generational and cosmetic dermatologist

WDS holds free skin cancer screenings all over the country; click here to see if there’s one near you.

Add a Comment

Parents Daily News Roundup

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Bottles, Binkies and Sippy Cups Can Hurt Kids, Study Finds
The seemingly innocuous ba-bas and binkies caused cuts, bruises and other injuries serious enough to send 45,398 children under age 3 to the nation’s emergency rooms between 1991 and 2010, according to the first large-scale analysis of the problem.

Can You Call a 9-Year-Old a Psychopath?
Psychologists now believe fledgling psychopaths can be identified as early as kindergarten. The hope is to teach these children empathy before it’s too late.

More Batteries to Blame for Kids’ ER Visits
The number of kids treated in emergency rooms after swallowing batteries — or lodging them in their noses and ears — has almost doubled over the past 20 years, a new study suggests.

So Eager for Grandchildren, They’re Paying the Egg-Freezing Clinic
The practice of freezing eggs to enable a pregnancy later on is growing, doctors say, with parents lending emotional and financial support to adult daughters.

The List Is Out! Top Baby Names for 2011 Are…
The Social Security Administration released its top 1,000 baby name list for 2011 on Monday morning.

FDA Delays New Rules for Sunscreen
Sunscreen confusion won’t be over before summer after all. The government is bowing to industry requests for more time to make clear how much protection their brands really offer against skin cancer.

Add a Comment

Parents Daily News Roundup

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Brain Injuries in Childhood Have Lasting Effects on Learning
Brain injuries can lead to widespread deficits in a range of functions — from language to motor skills and cognition — and the effects may be longer-lasting than researchers thought, especially in young children who suffer traumatic blows to the head.

Should Parents Lose Custody of Super Obese Kids?
Should parents of extremely obese children lose custody for not controlling their kids’ weight? A provocative commentary in one of the nation’s most distinguished medical journals argues yes, and its authors are joining a quiet chorus of advocates who say the government should be allowed to intervene in extreme cases.

Anxiety, Other Disorders More Common in Autism
Autism tends to go hand in hand with a variety of other mental and behavioral conditions in kids, suggests a new study that highlights the fuzzy nature of autism diagnoses themselves.

Lots of Fun in the Sun, but Little Use of Sunscreen by Kids
The majority of pre-adolescents don’t regularly use sunscreen, according to a new study, despite the fact that many of them suffered sunburns at some point during their childhood, which increases the risk of developing melanoma later in life.

Tiny Baby Melinda Star Guido Heading Home
At birth, Melinda Star Guido weighed less than a can of soda – only 9 1/2 ounces. After spending close to the first five months of her life at the hospital, she’s headed home.

Girl Who Outsmarted Alleged Kidnapper: ‘I Got my Fight From Daddy’
A 9-year-old girl is getting credit for her quick thinking and for speaking up after managing to escape from her alleged kidnapper last week.

Add a Comment