Here’s why to avoid sunscreen for babies under 6 months (when you can) and ways to protect babies from the sun.
For more on protecting your baby and children from the sun read:
- New Insights on Infant and Toddler Skin (A 2011 Pediatrics article)
- AAP’s Sun Safety page
- Protecting Children in the Sun: Sunscreen basics (ingredient information, tips on getting sunscreen on, and an explanation about UVA/UVB)
Emily Gibson says
as a family doc for over thirty years, I can tell you have a knack for making brilliant patient ed using the vast media opportunities at our disposal. This is brief, gives a memorable message, and is done with compassion and caring. You are an inspiration to your fellow clinicians!
Wendy Sue Swanson, MD says
My goodness, Dr Gibson. Thank you. I’m so lucky to have such great partners at Children’s to sit in a very hot room and film these!! You should see some of the out-takes 🙂
This one I found particularly difficult. I wanted to share SO MUCH more but knew it would be better if I kept it short and focused only on babies. I did 3 takes before I stopped after this one. The others just not quite as cogent.
Really appreciate your words. More than you know…
Dr. Bob Uslander says
Very nice video Wendy.
A dear friend of mine founded the company UVSkinz after her husband died at 32 of malignant melanoma, due to multiple sun burns as a youth. I provided his hospice care. Thier children were 5,3 and 1 when he died, and Rhonda wanted to create something as a legacy to her husband and to prevent others from facing the same circumstances, so she founded UVSkinz, and now makes wonderful UV protective clothing for everyone from babies to grandparents. A portion of the proceeds are donated to a foundation focused on educating people about the dangers of sun exposure. You may want to get some of their products for yourself and your family, but it would also be a great resource for you to refer your patients to. The website is http://www.uvskinz.com. I believe they’re going to have a booth at the major pediatric meeting this year.
I look forward to seeing more of your educational videos.
All the best,
A recent mom’s list serve included a post about sunscreen containing “potential hormone disruptors. Oxybenzone is an estrogen mimic that may cause developmental abnormalities.”
Anything new on this in your view since your “Protecting Children in the Sun: Sunscreen basics (ingredient information, tips on getting sunscreen on, and an explanation about UVA/UVB)” post?
Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, MBE says
There have been warnings about multiple chemical ingredients in sunscreen for some time. The EWG (Environmental working group) has a lot of published work on the warnings.
I always recommend using a physical blocker rather than a chemical one. So avoiding chemical like oxybenzone falls under that recommendation.
Look for sunscreen with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. Those are physical blockers that put a layer between your skin and the UV light from the sun. These physical blockers are less irritating, too.
Trouble is suncreens with only physical blockers are difficult to find, expensive, and inconvenient. I’ve not found a spray sunscreen (SO EASY TO USE WITH KIDS) with physical blockers only.