A note about sunscreens
Monday, August 03, 2009
A new study showed that today's children are "shockingly" Vitamin D deficient!
Really? That fact surprised someone?
Today's boys tear themselves away from a three hour Wii Call of Duty session only long enough to walk three doors down to a friend's house to watch Family Guy on his 60 inch flat screen while friend's mom feeds them Hot Pockets. The girls spend time commenting Hannah Montana's Myspace and ask mom for a ride to the mall...
And in the few moments that the boys and girls do go outside, loving, well-intentioned moms slather Coppertone 100SPF sunscreen on them because for ten years they have been listening to reports documenting an increase in skin cancer. (Ironically, many of those moms have visited a tanning bed at least three times in the past month.) These moms have either not heard, or will not accept, research that states that 100 spf is no more effective than 45 spf, and they do not comprehend the research that sunscreens have an estrogenic effect that raises their daughter's risk of breast cancer and is one factor in precocious puberty that is occuring at an alarming rate.
I'd like to see all mothers make a switch to chemical-free sunscreens if their children are going to have prolonged sun exposure (greater than 15 minutes). Burt's Bees makes an excellent one that is widely available! (Walmart, CVS, Kroger) It does cost a little more, but here's an idea- USE LESS!
A person needs 10-15 minutes daily of sunlight outdoors, without sunscreen, to receive the correct amount of Vitamin D.
I'd also like to see all the mothers tell their kids to go outside after dinner and come home when the street lights come on. It worked for us as kids! Late afternoon/ early evening sun is less harsh than midday sun so it's the perfect time to get some Vitamin D. Just to play it safe though- surprise them with a glass of chocolate milk when they get home!