7 sun protection myths that harm your kids
Skin cancer is on the top 10 cancers list of the Singapore Cancer Society and National Cancer Centre Singapore. Are you doing enough to protect your children from it?
If you’re anything like me, then you think that kids belong outdoors. They should be running across lush green grass, with the wind blowing against their cheeks.
And our parental instincts are not far off. Studies and discussions abound on the numerous benefits of nature on children’s emotional, psychological, and mental well-being.
But let’s get real: repeated sun exposure without adequate protection can lead to skin cancer. So you protect your kids the best way you know. But how sure are you that your methods are correct?
Sun protection myths you may still believe
Myth #1: It’s raining/cloudy outside, so my kids don’t need sun protection formula.
Truth: Clouds only filter 20% of UV rays. The full effects of these harmful rays are ever present! That’s why dermatologists recommend using sun protection daily, rain or shine. Use something that gives superior UV protection against sunburn and UV damage like Biore UV Mild Milk (for kids) SPF 50+ PA++++ (RSP $13.90).
Myth #2: I’m using SPF 50 on my kids so there’s no need to reapply.
Truth: According to the U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration), some folks mistakenly think that an SPF of 15, for example, protects for 15 hours.
However, sun exposure and damage don’t only depend on the duration of exposure. There are other factors too, specifically the intensity of solar energy exposure. One hour sun exposure at 9am is equivalent to 15 minutes exposure at 1pm. That’s because the sun is strongest during midday.
I always carry a small bottle of sun protection in my bag. The more sunscreen applied, the less solar energy is absorbed by the body.
But what happens when kids think reapplying takes away from their precious play time? Use a product that has an ultra light, milky texture so it easily spreads evenly on skin like Biore UV Mild Milk (for kids).
It has a moisturizing ingredient that leaves skin smooth so I don’t need to worry about my kids getting dry skin. Also, this trusted Japanese product is perspiration proof and waterproof.
Myth #3: Applying sunscreen on the face is enough.
Truth: UV rays seek and destroy exposed skin. Protecting only the face isn’t enough. Apply liberal amounts of sunscreen on the ears, back of the neck, feet, and toes. I also put under my children’s bathing suit straps and swimming shorts garter because these move around (and expose unprotected skin) when children do.
Myth #4: My kids are not fair-skinned so they don’t need much protection from the sun.
Truth: My children are mixed raced so I thought their darker skin tone made them bulletproof against the sun. I couldn’t be more wrong.
All skin tones need sun protection, especially those who have a tendency to develop moles, those who have parents who tend to develop moles, and those with a family history of skin cancer.
A concern my daughter had before was the white streaks some sun protection formulas leave. Fortunately, since I’ve switched to Biore UV Mild Milk (for kids), my daughter hasn’t complained because it doesn't leave any white residue.
Myth #5: My kids need vitamin D so they shouldn’t put sun protection formula.
Truth: You need a combination of the following to get adequate vitamin D: food, supplements, and incidental sun exposure. So, no. Applying sun protection formula doesn’t prevent the body from soaking up vitamin D.
Myth #6: My child’s skin is sensitive to sun protection formula, so it’s better not to use it. My kid also dislikes the heavy, sticky texture of sun screen.
Truth: Skin allergies/irritation related to sun protection formula are rare. When it does occur, choose products like Biore UV Mild Milk (for kids), that has a pH balanced formula with no fragrance, colorant, or alcohol which provides soothing protection for delicate skin.
Myth #7: My children are indoors, so there’s no need to apply sun protection.
Truth: UVB rays, which are responsible for superficial skin burns, are usually filtered by windows. However, UVA rays, which penetrate deep into the skin, can go through windows. A rule I have at home is that when my kids play or study near windows, they must have sun protection on.
Now that you know how to protect your children from the harmful effects of the sun, you can be at peace with allowing them to be outdoors. Prevention is the best cure, after all.
Give Biore UV Mild Milk (for kids), which is suitable for kids three years old and up, a go.
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