Avoiding Sunburn, Sunscreen and Sun Protection

Susan Sanders-Kinzel

Planning ahead is the best way to prevent sunburn. As soon as your skin starts feeling hot, you could be burning. Make sure to bring lots of protection for yourself and your children. Sunburns tend to get worse as time goes on so if it looks slightly pink, it may be turn red later.

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Bring Protective Clothing

Besides sunscreen, make sure that you have protective hats, a loose long sleeved shirt (a man's old dress shirt works well) and something to cover your legs and feet. If you start getting burned, you can use these for additional protection.

The hours of 10 AM to 4 PM are the hours that you are most likely to burn. If you are near water, remember that water reflects the sun and you can burn more easily. Also, surprisingly if it is overcast but still bright, you can also burn.

Choose sunscreens with SPFs of 15 or higher, make sure to apply at least every 2 hours and slather it on. Most people use too little rather than too much. Look for sunscreens that contain zinc or titanium as their active ingredients. These give good UV ray protection and are fairly nontoxic.

Suntan lotions are NOT sunscreen and do not protect against UV rays.

Ingredients to Avoid:

Some sunscreens contain fairly harmful ingredients. Look for a sunscreen that does NOT contain oxybenzone, octinoxate and homosalate. These have been linked to hormone effects. If there is a fragrance in the sunscreen, make sure they do NOT contain phthalates, these are linked with reproductive effects and asthma.

Protecting Infants and Small Children

Make sure that the little ones have protection from the sun, best to have them in the shade with sun hats and clothing that covers their skin. Bring a sun umbrella to keep the baby in the shade. Only use sunscreen on your baby if adequate clothing and shade is not available. Babies and small children can burn very quickly.

Liquids

Bring lots of water and beverages. It is easy to get dehydrated in the sun. If there is a headache, drinking a full glass of water can sometimes be the best remedy as this is a sign of dehydration.

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Source: Personal experience and Watoxics.org

Sun Protection
June 27, 20080 found this helpful

1) Read the labeling; make sure the product protects you from UVA and UVB.

2) Afterwards, apply Vinegar to areas that were exposed to the elements.. If there is a very slight reactive sensation, it is because the vinegar is trying to repair the skin damage, but the 'sunburn' will react with a cooling sensation. The vinegar odor will only be temporary (~5 minutes) but the skin will be much 'happier' :)

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June 28, 20080 found this helpful

Moms and Dads, Grandparents,

When you see the cost of sun protection clothing, you may feel that it's out of your price range, please think that over carefully. What price can you attach to SEVERE PAIN? I took my grandchildren to the lake Memorial Day weekend and out of the eight kids and two adults, one of the kids got a severe second degree burn over 17% of her body!! The fun was on a Friday, the horror began that night and my granddaughter's blisters were still popping out to the size of golf balls on Tuesday!!! She just barely missed being put into the hospital and it was because the Pediatrician knew me well, knew that I would take fantastic care of the child and that the child would be compliant with everything that we had to do to get her well again.

I never want to see another child suffer with a sunburn like that again, the pain was horrendous and required an adult dose of very strong pain medication to give the child any ease. Financially I spent over $500.00 on medicine and Dr. bills (no health insurance.) Thankfully the child is fine now, but extremely careful in the sun.

Our entire family and everyone we can warn are more careful now and yes, we all went out and purchased sun protective swim wear for everyone. We decided to cut out everything we possibly could for a while to be able to pay for the clothes but I know it's worth it.

So from now on our top two rules at the pool and lake, etc. are:

1. Don't let anyone drown.

2. Sunscreen often, let it dry before getting back into the

water. Use a brand that you KNOW works. (You cannot

undo the sun damage once it's done and you probably won't

see how red someone is until the next day and beyond.)

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3. Keep everyone hydrated.

PLEASE do not let yourself or anyone that you know get sunburned.

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July 3, 20080 found this helpful

Here's a good article about the best sunscreens available right now from the Environmental Working Group: http://cosmeticsdatabase.com/special/sunscreens2008/

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