This week's post has a 4th of July theme, but it's relevant year-round as it's all about sun protection. Our guess is whatever you have going on for the Fourth of July, the sun is sure to feature prominently. Between beach and pool time, summer sports, picnics and more, the sun plays a starring role in most family's summer plans. But sunscreen also plays a critical, often overlooked part, and depending on what it’s made of, it can either be the hero or the villain. Because of how important sun protection is, the team at Modern Kids Design wanted to make life a little easier for you by updating some of the information we've shared in the past and providing you with some sun protection tips to help you celebrate the Fourth of July and the rest of the summer safely...
The importance of sun protection has been made clear by plenty of research and just about every medical professional. Sunscreen is recommended by almost everyone, but some sunscreens contain harmful chemicals that can do almost more damage to skin and bodies than good, while others simply don’t block all of the sun’s harmful rays. Given the vast array of sunscreens to choose from, it can be hard to know the best one to cast in your family’s life. To help narrow down the options, here are some traits to look for in a safe, effective sunscreen, created with the help of the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG’s) excellent sunscreen guide, which you can find by clicking here and going to their website.
This is worth looking into – Ultimately, we have to decide for ourselves what is best for our families, but you may want to avoid spray-on sunscreens, sunscreen towelettes, and powdered sunscreen. Spray-on and powdered sunscreens are super-convenient, but researchers have expressed concerns that inhaling the stuff might pose health risks to your kids. It’s easy to miss a spot, too. Towelettes often don’t contain enough sunscreen to adequately protect your child’s skin. For maximum sun protection, choose a sunscreen that from the EWG’s list of products that provide the best protection for the least amount of risk to your body.
Watch out for chemicals – Several chemicals commonly found in sunscreens are known to cause health problems. Some of the names to watch out for are oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate, which can seep into the body and cause a number of problems. Try consulting this list of harmful chemicals before purchasing your next sunscreen.
And depending on where you live or your travel plans, another important consideration is to make sure the what ever you choose is reef-friendly as well. Hawaii is the first state to ban the sale of sunscreens that harm coral reefs. If you are not already familiar with this, you can read a bit more about it here in this article on Hawaii's ban. As you have might guess, there is some overlap, so avoiding certain chemicals is a win for families and for the environment.
Steer clear of tanning oils. They tend to carry an increased risk for burns and often do not contain adequate ingredients for sun protection.
Grab an umbrella. If you’re planning on hitting the beach or grilling outside, make sure there’s a nice shady spot to catch a break from the sun. Bring an umbrella or set up under a tree to provide a cool spot to hydrate or lay down and read.
Whatever your plans for the long Fourth of July weekend, make sure you and the family are protected from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Research the right sunscreen for you and your family and make sure to take it with you wherever you go! In addition, because busy moms and dads don’t always get enough time to apply their sunscreen, make sure your facial moisturizer also provides SPF protection.
Last but not least, in case you are wondering, this week’s picture was taken at one of our favorite places, the Whitney Museum of American Art in NYC. It's a painting by American artist Ellsworth Kelly and it's aptly called Red, White and Blue. As always, thanks for reading. Happy 4th and Happy July!