Feel the Burn, but Not Sunburn
Nothing stings like the all over achiness of harsh sunburn, and that can be a real hamper on your child’s desire to lose weight. Jacksonville is home to beaches, parks and fun activities that all take place out in the Florida sunshine, and if you aren’t careful then you and your kids may fall prey to the overpowering UV rays. Getting active and moving around outside are great ways to fight childhood obesity, but before you head to the beach make sure to pack the sunscreen.
Childhood obesity can be distracting. After speaking with Dr. Cywes about your child’s weight and ways to keep them from gaining more pounds this summer, chances are you have a lot on your mind. It can be easy to overlook simple wellness tips that don’t have much to do with weight loss. This is especially true when it comes to putting on sunscreen. You might be so thrilled when your son or daughter wakes up and decides to go outside and play all day that you forget to stop them and lather on some protection.
Finding the Right Sunscreen
There are dozens of different sunscreens on the market, making it hard to determine which one is best for your child. The American Academy of Dermatology put out a few recommendations to help people sort through the false claims and gimmicky additives:
- Always wear SPF 30 or higher
- Wear ‘water resistant’ sunscreen
- Make sure it offers ‘broad-spectrum’ coverage that will protect against UVA and UVB rays
A lot of sunscreens claim to be water resistant, but that is false advertising. The FDA recently mandated that sunscreen manufacturers be more truthful in their labeling, which should make it a bit easier for us to pick out a bottle at the grocery store. Certain terms that you are used to seeing are being removed from all sunscreen labels, including:
- All-day protection
The FDA also ruled that sunscreen makers can no longer advertise SPF 100, since any sunscreen at SPF 50 or above provides identical coverage. The FDA found that this advertises false protection that a lot of people were willing to pay more for.
The reason these terms are being removed is because they are misleading. No sunscreen blocks out the sun, and none of them will last all day—especially if you get wet or sweat a lot. As you are outside with your kids and running around, make sure to follow these sun protection summertime rules:
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours.
- If your shadow is shorter than you are, that means the sun is at its peak. This generally happens around lunch time, and is a good indication that it’s time to find some shade. Keep your direct sun exposure to the morning and late afternoon.
- Wear protective clothing while outside, including hats, sunglasses and cover-ups. Even a mesh material that breathes easily can help protect your skin from the sun.
The summer is a great time to get outside and move around a lot, but if your kids get scorched with sunburn then they are going to find comfort on the couch, which isn’t going to help them lose weight. Keep the whole family active and healthy this summer by remembering the sunscreen.