Sama Baby Blog

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How safe are sunscreen products for kids? May 18, 2010

The Seattle Times

We came across this article from the Seattle Times and had to share this pertinent information with you:

Sunscreen can help prevent episodes of childhood sunburn, a risk factor for skin cancer later in life and is recommended for infants older than 6 months by everyone from the National Institutes of Health to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

But there’s growing concern by advocacy groups, parents and some doctors that some of the chemicals in the products are endocrine disruptors and may pose risks to children. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which drafted sunscreen safety standards in 1978, is expected to issue the final rules in October.

What concerns Greene is that the tests evaluating oxybenzone have been done on healthy adults in the middle of life. “Permanent changes of puberty happen with one drop of sex hormones,” he said. “We don’t know the impact of kids and babies who get at least three times the concentration as adults.”

But the data are preliminary. Moreover, “absorption alone isn’t enough to justify any posture,” said Dr. Michael Smith, director of pediatric dermatology at Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University.



-Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide-based sunscreens that do not contain nanoparticles are generally thicker and whiter than those that do. Avoid nano-sprays or powders altogether, especially near the face, because the particles can be inhaled into the lungs, said Dr. Alan Greene, author of “Raising Baby Green.”

-Once your baby is 6 months old, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends products with a rating of SPF 30 or more with a broad-spectrum sunscreen, or one that protects against both ultraviolet A and B rays.

“Avoid products that combine bug repellent and sunscreen,” said Dr. Michael Smith of Vanderbilt. Bug repellent isn’t known to be safe for frequent application — but you do need to reapply sunscreen to avoid burn every 90 minutes. And use enough: 3 teaspoons for an average toddler, 6 teaspoons for an 8-year-old, Smith said.

What tips do you have? Please share!

Balance, Serenity, Fashion, SAMA


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