Friday, July 2, 2010

Sun Safety First

Summer is upon us now and we are spending more time outside then ever before.  James loves to be outside which is great, but sometimes finding things to do for a toddler can be daunting.  We live in the city, so just going to the beach or pool can be easier said than done.  That said, regardless of what we are doing both Matt and I feel so admit about making sure that sun safety is always first.

We lather James up with suntan lotion every day, he wears a hat, sunglasses and we try to stay in the shade or under an umbrella as much as possible.  This summer though, has been a large learning curve for us in the world of suntan lotion.  Last summer we used Nutrogena Baby solely.  We thought it worked great and was easy to use.  This summer we got thrown a curve ball when James came down with Fifth's disease.  Turns out he is acutely sensitive to almost everything -- including this seemingly benign, dermatologist / doctor recommended lotion.  After some exploration we found that the lotion contains Vitamin A which when applied as Suntan lotion can actually cause an increase to sun-sensitivity. Certainly, ironic no?  Its amazing how easy we are to buy lotions full of chemicals that say Doctor Recommended!

So we started doing research and by using the EWG's website we found that Nutrogena was ranked as a 4 (5 being the worst for you) and Aveeno Baby which people told us to use as well as was ranked as a 5.  (Scary-Right?)  Badger and California Baby's suntan lotion are the safest.  They are purely zinc oxide and titanium dioxide (no PABA) which means that this suntan lotion scatters and blocks both UVA/UVB rays on top of being waterproof.  It goes on thick and white, but protects James all day.  We love it, and because the formula is simple and chemical free James does not have skin reactions. 

Now as a more educated mom, we send James to the playground, beach or even to the park covered in California baby and we always have their "suntan lotion stick" on hand for easy facial an ear touch-ups!  (Don't forget the ears -- this is one of the most prominent spots on the entire human body to get skin cancer because everyone forgets to cover them!).  And, at the end of the day I am now happy that I found a reliable product that protects my baby's sensitive skin.

That said, the lingering question I have is why as a society of moms are we allowing these major companies to poison our children in order to make a buck?  Why do we have to fight to uncover this information? These questions truly frustrate me on a daily bases! 

And, with that I say be sun safe this fourth of July weekend, wear hats, sunglasses and stay under umbrellas on top of all that suntan lotion!!!