do you use sunscreen on your child every day? - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-02-2009, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Not sure if this is the right place to post this, but here goes:

Now that the weather is warm, my son is going outside to play a lot during the day. Usually he goes out a little while, comes in, goes out, etc., rather than going out for a large chunk of time and then coming back inside to stay. Anyway, my husband commented the other day on how brown our boy is getting and suggested that I should be using sunscreen more. While I don't want him getting too much sun, I also don't like the idea of him spending all day slathered in chemicals. (I do use sunscreen when we're going to be outside for a while.)

So, what do y'all do? Sunscreen all day, every day? (and if so, what brand?) Only if the child is going to be out for an extended period? Other?
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Old 06-02-2009, 05:09 PM
 
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My kids aren't toddlers, anymore, but I tend to use sunscreen for some thins, and not for others. I use it if we're swimming outside, if we're going to be outside for a long time, if we're on my stepdad's sailboat...that's generally about it, honestly. I'm not completely sold on the skin cancer thing, and I do worry about vitamin D deficiency. I basically use it to prevent burns, not because of cancer.

And, ds1 drives me crazy. He came home from an all-day Ultimate tournament last Saturday red as a lobster. This kid just cannot remember to put on sunscreen. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see him have some problems later in life, at least on his upper cheeks.

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Old 06-02-2009, 05:13 PM
 
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We use sunscreen everyday since we are outside many, many hours a day. There are lots of great, safe chemical free sunscreens now. I like Badger brand, Burt's Bees, and Dr. Hauschka. Until it gets really hot we'll mostly keep ds in loose fitting, light weight cotton clothing but with full length pants and long sleeves. And ALWAYS a sunhat for our fair-haired, fair-skinned boy. And we tend to stick to shady areas in the middle of the day.
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Old 06-02-2009, 05:15 PM
 
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No. If we're out in the middle of the day and somewhere other than our yard, I'll do sunscreen but that's about it. Our yard is very shady and we're usually out later in the day.

I do try to remember to put a little bit on my youngest's scar on his forehead to help keep it from bleaching out in the sun. But his hair covers it pretty well if I forget.
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Old 06-02-2009, 05:43 PM
 
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Nope, like the others I only apply if we're out for a big chunk of time or going to the pool. Otherwise my daughter wears a sun hat to help protect her face. We go outside for increasingly sunny long periods to let her shins and forearms get a little tan so she won't burn. Like you, I use sunscreen to prevent burns, not cancer.

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Old 06-02-2009, 05:48 PM
 
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No, I only use it if we're going to be spending a significant amount of time outdoors. For the standard in-and-out stuff, I don't worry about it, although I do ask DS to wear a hat if he's going to go outside when the sun is right overhead and there's no shade in our yard.

We use chemical-free sunscreen (Earth's Best or California Baby), but at $13/tube, I don't think we'd be able to afford to use that every day!

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Old 06-02-2009, 05:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
My kids aren't toddlers, anymore, but I tend to use sunscreen for some thins, and not for others. I use it if we're swimming outside, if we're going to be outside for a long time, if we're on my stepdad's sailboat...that's generally about it, honestly. I'm not completely sold on the skin cancer thing, and I do worry about vitamin D deficiency. I basically use it to prevent burns, not because of cancer.

And, ds1 drives me crazy. He came home from an all-day Ultimate tournament last Saturday red as a lobster. This kid just cannot remember to put on sunscreen. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see him have some problems later in life, at least on his upper cheeks.
I also only use it if we're swimming outside or if we're going to be outside for a long time
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Old 06-02-2009, 05:54 PM
 
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Not every day, but I keep it handy just in case.

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Old 06-02-2009, 06:03 PM
 
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Every day, every time we go outside. Sun hats too.

DH lost a large chunk of his back to stage 2 melonoma at the age of 29. It is so easy to use sunscreen, long sleeves, hats, etc. that it just isn't worth the risk to us. My kids are fair skinned, light haired, and have lots of freckles which also plays into our need to reduce the risk.

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Old 06-02-2009, 06:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LittleBlessings View Post
I also only use it if we're swimming outside or if we're going to be outside for a long time
me too. i really only use it at the pool or beach. i am concerned with preventing sunburn, but DD doesn't burn easily. she is olive skinned like her mama

if she did, i would use it more often.

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Old 06-02-2009, 06:04 PM
 
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We use it in peak UV hours. My girl is a red head and we're all very fair. She's almost always got her sun hat on but We do try to get some sunny time in with no sun screen for the Vit. D. We just make sure to sure natural sunscreens. The higher the SPF the more chemicals too. You're better off going for a SPF of 18 or 20 and just put in on more regularly.
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Old 06-02-2009, 06:10 PM
 
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My kids always wear hats outside to protect the face from sun. We usually aren't outside long between 10 and 2. I use sunscreen (California Baby) for things like beach, swimming, lots of sun in the middle of the day, etc. because sunburn isn't healthy.

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Old 06-02-2009, 06:19 PM
 
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We are just starting to use sunscreen semi-regularly as I have had a pre-cancerous mole removed and DD has some moles blossoming already, meaning I expect she'll be like me; holey moley.

Also some of the freelance writing I've done has been on the topic of aging and 90% of the aging photodamage people see show up later in life is due to sun exposure from ages 0-20.

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Old 06-02-2009, 06:38 PM
 
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We use any time DS will be in the sun for more than 20 min. He always wears a hat. We use non-chemical sunscreen, either California Baby or Burt's Bees. I use it to prevent skin damage because of both cancer (common in our family and always in areas of high sun exposure) and vanity.

Lots of sun exposure = yucky skin in adulthood. We live in Southern California and see lots and lots of sun damage. I am way past the point in my life when I think tanned Caucasion skin is attractive.
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Old 06-02-2009, 06:38 PM
 
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No, we do not use sunscreen. I think that our skin has a built in indicator of how much sun is too much. Plus, if I can't eat it, it doesn't go onto our skin. I also agree with the previous poster about being concerned of the blocking the absorption of Vitamin D.

We have been to the beach once. I made sure we were there only during non-peak hours and even then limited our exposure. If we were to be in a situation where I couldn't safely limit the length of exposure, I would try to cover the skin using hats and generous, light clothing. As a last resort, I would consider a natural ingredient sunscreen, but we haven't had to cross that bridge yet.

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Old 06-02-2009, 07:03 PM
 
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No, not everyday. But if they are going to be out for extended periods of time, especially during the hottest/sunniest part of the day, then yes I put sunscreen on them. We use California Baby and are comfortable with the ingredients. It does make their skin white looking, but that's better than red looking And actually, my kids don't burn very easily so this is part of why I am lax about sunscreen, even living in the desert. They tend to just get tanner, with noses and under their eyes getting a bit pink if they are out too long without coverage.

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Old 06-02-2009, 07:34 PM
 
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Nope.


Usually, only if we are going to me out in the sun all day or during the brightest part of the day.

And no matter what, I definitely make sure DD gets time in the sun every day without sunscreen to help with Vitamin D.

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Old 06-02-2009, 07:45 PM
 
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Like many others I only use it if we're vacationing in the tropics, outside swimming all day or someplace where its likely that we'll get burnt (like an airshow or fair).

I use 50+ on my oldest who is super sensitive to the sun. Everyone else I make sure its close to 30.

I personally don't use much if any.

DH uses at least 50, because he had a stage 2 melanoma as well.

I don't think the sun is evil, I do think sunburns are evil though. I don't want to miss out on the good benefits of the sun. IMO sun protection is more about protecting from burns, not everyday *healthy* sun exposure.
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Old 06-02-2009, 08:45 PM
 
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Unless it's very early or nearing sunset, we do. I burn easily and DD is just as fair as I am, so I am assuming that she will, too.
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Old 06-02-2009, 08:49 PM
 
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We don't everyday but we always do when we are going to be out for awhile or if we are out in the middle of the day for more than about 15 minutes. We go out a lot after dinner so I am not as concerned about using it then. DS and I are both very fair and will burn if we are out for a significant amount of time without suncreen.

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Old 06-02-2009, 09:40 PM
 
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Yes. Every day if we are going to be outside more than just a few minutes. It's part of our getting dressed routine and I reapply if we are out a lot.

There are tons of chemical free sunscreens now that are really gentle for little ones. Skin Deep has great info on different brands.

At the very least you should be keeping LO in hats and full coverage clothes and using sunscreen during peak times.
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:01 PM
 
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Nope. I only very, very rarely use sunscreen, and mostly only in the very first part of the summer. Once we have a decent tan built up, I don't worry. I'm just not sold on sunscreen and it preventing skin cancer (afterall, the only thing skin cancer rates have done since SS was invented is climb and climb and climb some more). I've also read that sunscreen actually only blocks out the 'good' rays that make your body make Vit D, and don't actually block out the truely 'bad' ones that supposedly cause skin cancer. So, generally, we don't bother.
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Old 06-03-2009, 01:40 AM
 
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no. DD is olive skinned like me. I use it if we will be out in a very sunny place for more than an hour or two - aka beach, pool, fair, amusement park, sometimes playground. She doesn't wear a hat but has long, thick, dark hair that covers her neck and forehead. I only use it if I am in a bathing suit and then only on the parts of me that don't normally get exposure. My arms and legs really never get sunscreen on them. I don't ever really burn or tan very much at all and DD seems to be similar. DH on the other hand can't go 10 mins in the sun without getting sunburned.

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Old 06-03-2009, 01:41 AM
 
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Rarely.

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Old 06-03-2009, 11:30 AM
 
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I typically use it on my girls if I know that we'll be outside for more than an hour and its sunny. We currently use California Baby but have also used UV Naturals in the past.

I always keep a small tube in a bag with me just in case.
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Old 06-03-2009, 11:32 AM
 
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I only use it if we will be out for long(ish) periods of time.
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Old 06-03-2009, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the input! I'm definitely going to check out the safer sunscreens y'all mentioned, and I might start using them when we'll be outside when the sun is at its peak (and, of course, when we're outside for extended periods), but I think otherwise we'll continue as we have been.
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Old 06-03-2009, 01:02 PM
 
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DD has a more fair complexion then DS so I'm more likely to use it on her. We don't use it everyday though. I only put it on if we will be outside more then an hour. I don't use it if it's late afternoon or early morning. I was recently reading how we need some sun exposure without sunscreen for vit.D so I keep that in mind too!

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Old 06-03-2009, 01:31 PM
 
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I rarely used it. Only if we are going to be out for a long period of time at the hottest time of the day in the middle of summer. I do put hats on the kids whenever we are out and it's sunny. I believe that some sun is good for the body and do not go out of the way to avoid it. If it's hot enough to put sunscreen, it's too hot to be out in general.

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Old 06-03-2009, 01:33 PM
 
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My DD is olive skinned like me. I put sunscreen on her if we're swimming, or out in the sun for a large chunk of time (like at the zoo). We're often in our shady backyard or at shady parks for an hour or more at peak sun times, and I really don't think to put sunscreen on either of us. I should probably start carrying a tube again to put on our faces and/or shoulders if I find us out somewhere sunny at midday. We don't tend to wear sun hats, and certainly don't wear long sleeves in the heat.

DH's maternal grandfather died rather young of skin cancer, so I try to be more careful about sun exposure with DD than I generally was/am with me. DH has very fair skin and I'm much more careful about making sure he's covered. If my next babe is fair skinned like her daddy, then I'll have to get used to using sunscreen at the park and such.

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