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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Protecting your children from the sun safely

Today they are forecasting 25 degrees (Celsius) and sunny in Ottawa. Sounds beautiful, doesn't it? Of course it is, but with all the sunshine comes increased risks of sunburns and skin cancer. Being a mom who prefers to take the natural route when possible, I find myself completely spinning sometimes with all the information available about sunscreens.

For the past few years I've followed the information being released about the dangers of regular, chemical-based sunscreens. There is a particularly informative document on Naturopath Lisa Vecchi's (of Oakville, Ontario) website. You can download a document entitled the Dangers of Sunscreen and Bug Repellent. It's two pages and a fairly quick read.

There is a chemical in most commercially available sunscreens that offers questionable safety b/c it easily penetrates the skin and is a strong free radical generator. Dr. Lisa encourages us to get a daily dosage of sunshine without sunscreen - of course being careful not to do it during peak hours or without a hat for protection. She suggests about 10 minutes or so, and then recommends applying sunscreen afterwards.

The Pure Know How site also offers some detailed and informative stuff on sunscreens, UV rays, SPF and more. They also recommend natural sunscreens. For the past few years, I've used California Baby and been quite happy with it. However, I'm thinking of trying Mexitan this summer, mostly b/c it is available at Lilou Organics here in Ottawa and I can buy it locally without having to pay shipping and duty from the United States.

I'll be honest, it doesn't rub into the skin and disappear as easily as chemical-based sunscreens, but after a bit it does disappear. Pete, our *picky* child, doesn't always love the white film left initially, but like last year . . . he'll get used to it :-)


Tricia said...

Ahhhh! Here I thought the sunscreen I used was "safer". I normally use "SUN" brand, by AlbaBotanica, and they have one for kids too. I really like it (link below) but did not know about the albabenzone dangers and thus will be seeking a new line. THANKS FOR THE GREAT INFO!

Landerson said...

We too are in the process of making a switch to a safer sunscreen alternative so I appreciate the info. I've been referring to a website called which is really good and gives many product reviews and recommendations. Thanks Sister:-))

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