What are the medically recommended forms of sunscreen for kids? What should parents look for on the packaging in terms of SPF and UV protections?
Here are a couple of tips:
- Use sunscreen that says “broad spectrum” on the label as these block out both UVA and UVB rays
- Any SPF between 15 and 50 is acceptable. Studies have not shown much benefit of using >50 SPF and most kids do fine with 15-30 if applied correctly
- Sunscreen should be re-applied every 2 hours if outside for an extended period of time
- There are some concerns about mild hormonal properties of oxybenzone which is an ingredient in some sunscreens. It is not banned in any countries but limited to a certain percentage. Avoiding this if possible is a good idea, though any sunscreen is better than none, especially in a pinch.
- Natural is always better, especially products containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide
- The newest recommendation is to avoid spray-on sunscreen in kids, especially those prone to asthma or allergies. In younger children who cannot reliably hold their breath during application, spray on sunscreens pose a risk of inhalation of dangerous ingredients. Though easier to use a lot of the time, this isn’t the best option
Ok, this one is personal. If someone has a “better than average” sunburn, what steps should parents take to remedy the situation? When is there cause to seek medical attention for a sunburn?
For the common mild sunburn, the usual treatments of aloe or other soothing lotions, cold water, pain control and sun avoidance usually do the trick. However, for blistering lesions, fever, extreme pain or even worse, loss of sensation in the area, see your doctor immediately. Any sunburn in a child under 1 should warrant medical attention and most recommend keeping infants <6 months old out of the sun completely.
Thanks. Ok, last question Dr. Turshen.
Dehydration can happen in hot, humid conditions if someone is exercising or doing yard work. What are the tell tale signs that you maybe experiencing signs of dehydration. What are the most critical steps once you have someone in your presence with dehydration symptoms.
Dehydration is characterized by increased thirst, dry mouth, swollen tongue weakness and dizziness initially but can eventually become much more severe. Heat stroke involves mental status changes, confusion and lack of sweating. The best initial steps to take for someone showing signs of dehydration is to get them somewhere cool, (air conditioning is always helpful), help to cool with wash cloths or ice packs, and have them drink fluids. If there is any concern for more serious effects like confusion, getting them medical attention quickly is very important. Rehydration therapy can get complicated in those instances and should be done in a supervised setting.