Know your sunscreen: physical blocks and chemical blocks protect your skin in different ways.
When those first rays of warm summer sun hit our skin--before the muggy humidity kicks in--it's hard to resist soaking it up for hours. But basking can quickly become baking, and the next thing you're dealing with is sunburn, wrinkles, or an increased risk of several skin cancers.
Cover your skin The best way to guard your skin is to shield it from the sun.
* Wear wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and sun-protective clothing. When you swim, wear a wetsuit, advises Alan Dattner, M.D., a holistic dermatologist in New York. And, if possible, stay out of the midday sun.
* Eat more brightly colored fruits and vegetables and drink green tea. High in antioxidants, they can help your skin repair sun damage and fight potentially cancer-causing free radicals, says Dattner.
* Apply an effective sunscreen. Whenever your skin is exposed, slather on a lotion high in SPF.
Not all sunscreens are alike. It helps to understand the ingredients and know which rays they'll protect you from.
PHYSICAL BLOCKERS Minerals like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are used in physical blocks, which provide the most comprehensive coverage: They sit on top of your skin and reflect the rays of the sun, shielding what's underneath, explains Kenneth Beer, M.D., a dermatologist in West Palm Beach, Fla.
CHEMICAL BLOCKERS Ingredients used in chemical blocks soak into your skin (instead of sitting on the surface) and help prevent damage by breaking down harmful ultraviolet rays.
WHAT SPF MEANS Sun Protection Factor indicates how much shelter you'll get from the sun's damaging rays. To find out how long a sunscreen will shade you, multiply its SPF by the amount of time your unprotected skin can spend in the sun without burning (for most people, this is between ten and 20 minutes, depending on skin type). If you burn after ten minutes, an SPF of 15 will shield your skin for 150 minutes.
WHAT UVA RAYS CAUSE
Ultraviolet A (UVA) rays can cause premature aging, such as wrinkles, and may even cause some skin cancers.
WHAT UVB RAYS CAUSE
Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays are more potent, quicker to produce sunburn, and are a major cause of skin cancer. Because UVB rays cause sunburn, SPF always refers only to UVB protection. To defend yourself from both UVA and UVB rays, look for a physical block or a full-spectrum chemical block.
Slather all over
When applying sunscreen, don't forget your ears, neck, and the backs of your legs--places people often overlook. When you put it on your face, start at the outside and move in, suggests Doris Day, M.D., a dermatologist in New York. "Most people miss the edges of their face, so starting there will help make sure every part is covered."
Physical blocks, which use ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to protect against both UVA and UVB rays, are effective immediately--no need to wait before going outside.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Know your sunscreen: physical blocks and chemical blocks protect your skin in different ways.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Children's Eye Health
Healthy eyes and vision are a critical part of kids' development. Their eyes should be examined regularly, as many vision problems and eye diseases can be detected and treated early.
Be sure to make vision care and eye checks a part of your child's routine medical care.
Different kinds of doctors offer eye care, and the names can be confusing:
- Ophthalmologists are doctors who provide comprehensive eye care with medicine and surgery.
- Pediatric ophthalmologists have special training to treat kids' eye problems.
- Optometrists provide routine primary eye care and can prescribe eyeglasses and examine vision.
- Opticians fit and adjust eyeglasses.
Routine medical exams for kids' vision include:
- Newborns should be checked for general eye health by a pediatrician or family physician in the hospital nursery.
- High-risk newborns (including premature infants), those with a family history of eye problems, and those with obvious eye irregularities should be examined by an eye doctor.
- In the first year of life, all infants should be routinely screened for eye health during checkups with their doctors.
- Around age 3½, kids should undergo eye health screenings and visual acuity tests (or tests that measure sharpness of vision) with their doctors.
- Around age 5, kids should have their vision and eye alignment evaluated by their doctors. Those who fail either test should be examined by an eye doctor.
- After age 5, further routine screenings should be done at school or the doctor's office, or after the appearance of symptoms such as squinting or frequent headaches. (Many times, a teacher will realize the child isn't seeing well in class.)
- Kids who wear prescription glasses or contacts should have annual checkups to screen for vision changes.
Spotting Eye Problems
Signs that a child may have vision problems include:
- constant eye rubbing
- extreme light sensitivity
- poor focusing
- poor visual tracking (following an object)
- abnormal alignment or movement of the eyes (after 6 months of age)
- chronic redness of the eyes
- chronic tearing of the eyes
- a white pupil instead of black
In school-age children, watch for other signs such as:
- inability to see objects at a distance
- inability to read the blackboard
- difficulty reading
- sitting too close to the TV
Watch your child for evidence of poor vision or crossed eyes. If you notice any eye problems, have your child examined immediately so that the problem doesn't become permanent.
If caught early, eye conditions often can be reversed.
Common Eye Problems
Several eye conditions can affect kids. Most are detected by a vision screening using an acuity chart during the preschool years.
- Amblyopia (lazy eye) is poor vision in an eye that
appears to be normal. Two common causes are crossed eyes and a difference in the refractive error between the two eyes. If untreated, amblyopia can cause irreversible visual loss in the affected eye. (By then, the brain's "programming" will ignore signals from that eye.) Amblyopia is best treated during the preschool years.
- Strabismus is a misalignment of the eyes; they may turn in, out, up, or down. If the same eye is chronically misaligned, amblyopia may develop in that eye. With early detection, vision can be
restored by patching the properly aligned eye, which forces the misaligned one to work. Surgery or specially designed glasses also may help the eyes to align.
- Refractive errors mean that the shape of the eye doesn't refract, or bend, light properly, so images appear blurred.
Refractive errors also can cause eyestrain and/or amblyopia.
Nearsightedness is the most common refractive error; others include
farsightedness and astigmatism:
- Nearsightedness is poor distance vision (also called myopia), which is usually treated with glasses or contacts.
- Farsightedness is poor near vision (also called hyperopia), which is usually treated with glasses or contacts.
- Astigmatism is imperfect curvature of the front surface of the eye, which is usually treated with glasses if it causes blurred vision or discomfort.
Other eye conditions require immediate attention, such as retinopathy of prematurity (a disease that affects the eyes of premature babies) and those associated with a family history, including:
- Retinoblastoma is a malignant tumor that usually
appears in the first 3 years of life. The affected eye may have visual
loss and whiteness in the pupil.
- Infantile cataracts can occur in newborns. A cataract is a gradual clouding of the eye's lens.
- Congenital glaucoma in infants is a rare condition that may be inherited. It is the result of incorrect or incomplete development of the eye drainage canals before birth and can be treated
with medication and surgery.
- Genetic or metabolic diseases of the eye, such as inherited disorders that make a child more likely to develop retinoblastoma or cataracts, may require kids to have eye exams at an early age and regular screenings.
Be sure to talk to your doctor if your child is at risk for any of these conditions.
Glasses and Contacts
Kids of all ages — even babies — can wear glasses and contacts.
Keep these tips in mind for kids who wear glasses:
- Allow kids to pick their own frames.
- Plastic frames are best for children younger than 2.
- If older kids wear metal frames, make sure they have spring hinges, which are more durable.
- An elastic strap attached to the glasses will help keep them in place for active toddlers.
- Kids with severe eye problems may need special lenses called high-index lenses, which are thinner and lighter than plastic lenses.
- Polycarbonate lenses are recommended, especially for kids who play
sports. Polycarbonate is a tough, transparent thermoplastic used to make thin, light lenses. However, although they're very impact-resistant, these lenses scratch more easily than plastic lenses.
Infants born with congenital cataracts may need to have their cataracts surgically removed during the first few weeks of life. Some children born with cataracts wear contact lenses at 6 months of age.
Around age 10, kids may express a desire to get contact lenses for cosmetic purposes or convenience if they play sports. Allowing a child to wear contacts depends on his or her ability to insert and remove
lenses properly, faithfully take them out as required, and clean them
as recommended by the doctor.
Your eye doctor can help you decide what type of vision correction is best for your child.
Reviewed by: Sharon Lehman, MD
Date reviewed: July 2007
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
American Baby Magazine June 2009 - Easy Listening on page 24 highlights the importance of hearing protection and Ear Muffs like our new ones available online now!!
Parents Magazine June 2009 - Sun Safety Made Easy and Outfits with Benefits on Page 48 highlights the importance of UV swimwear and our Kidz Banz sunglasses for eye protection all summer!
Friday, May 22, 2009
May 21, 2009 From KidzJam.org - Sun protection is one thing that we take seriously at Kidz Jam. We always have plenty of sunblock for kids in need of another layer. Shari and the good people at Baby Banz are thinking along the same lines. Their collection of sun protection for kids and babies is designed to make sure they are all set for safe fun in the sun.
Baby Banz has donated five adorable sets of Baby Banz hats, sunglasses and sunscreen wipes for our raffle. Thanks Baby Banz!
Baby BanZ will be closed in honor of Memorial Day, Monday May 25th.
Join us in remembering those who served, and saluting those who do today!
Orders will resume shipping on Tuesday, May 26th.
Don't forget to protect yourselves and your kiddos during the weekend's festivities!! Slip, Slop and Slap!!
Monday, May 18, 2009
Checkout our latest innovation in children's sun protection - Adventure Banz!! Baby BanZ has taken our Original Baby and KidZ BanZ wrap-around sunglasses for baby and toddlers and made them even better by embedding a soft silicone nose and brow piece right into the frame.
Adventure BanZ by Baby BanZ are available in Baby and KidZ sizes in 13 cool colors for only $17!!
In addition, a polarized version is available in both Baby and KidZ sizes!!
As always, you can depend on Baby BanZ to provide 100% UV protection that is comfortable, durable, dependable and affordable.
Learn more at http://usa.babybanz.com.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Choosing sunglasses for your kids
Did you ever notice how cute kids are in sunglasses? Like those "fashion statement" sunglasses with a cool super-hero look or trimmed in teddy bear faces?
More importantly, sunglasses may save their skin and eyes later in life by blocking the sun's powerful ultraviolet rays (UVR).
Children under age 10 are at a high risk for skin and eye damage from UVR. The skin on their eyelids and around their eyes is more delicate and vulnerable than adult skin. "And until about age 10, the lens of a child's eye is clear, allowing greater solar penetration and thus greater UVR-induced ocular changes," explains Adelaide A. Hebert, MD, professor and vice chair of dermatology, University of Houston. "After that, the lens starts to become more opaque, providing better protection."
UVR exposure causes 90 percent of all skin cancers. In addition, retinal exposure to UVR is associated with cataracts and macular degeneration, both causes of vision impairment. UVR damage builds over time, so the sooner you start protecting your children's eyes from the sun, the lower their risk will be of ever developing future eye problems.
Fortunately, good sunglasses protect both the skin around the eye and the eye itself. While children under 6 months old should never be exposed to the sun, once they reach 6 months, they should wear sunglasses outside. If they require prescription glasses, they should also wear prescription sunglasses.
Keep these rules in mind when buying sunglasses for children:
* Find glasses that block 99-100 percent of both UVA and UVB rays. Buy ones that indicate the percentage of UVR protection they provide. The more skin covered, the better, so look for large, wraparound styles.
* Use playground-proof lenses. Kids run, trip, fall, and bounce off objects at alarming speed. Their sunglasses should match this active lifestyle. Find impact-resistant, scratch-proof lenses that don't pop out of the frames. Avoid glass lenses, unless recommended by a doctor; plastic is safer. Frames should be bendable but unbreakable. Make sure the glasses fit snugly, close to the face.
* Let them choose. You're not the one who has to wear the glasses or hear other kids' comments on them. Children – especially older kids and teens – are likelier to actually wear them if they select them themselves.
* Eyeball the glasses. Check to see that lenses are not scratched or warped and have no other flaws that distort vision. Very young children may not know to complain if the glasses are flawed, so it's up to you to check before buying.
* Double Up. Sunglasses block only rays that come directly through the lenses. The skin around the eyes remains vulnerable to rays entering though the sides or from the top, or reflected upwards off snow, sand, water, etc. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat is a good backup, blocking out many rays from above and even from the sides, while also shielding the face and neck. Seeking shade during the sun's most intense hours, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., provides another level of protection.
"We need to teach children early the importance of wearing sunglasses – just as we teach them to brush their teeth and wear a seatbelt, so that they develop good habits that last for life," concludes Dr. Hebert.
source: Skin Cancer Foundation http://www.skincancer.org/choosing-sunglasses-for-your-kids.html
Friday, May 8, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month
Baby Banz encourages sun safety while in the sun
With spring here and summer on the way, it means more people will venture outside to play and work. Swimming, planting flowers, mowing the grass, back yard barbecues and other activities take place during the spring and summer months.
While the warmth and sun bring people outside, Baby Banz and the American Cancer Society encourage everyone to take caution and to protect their skin.
May is skin cancer awareness month. It’s a month used to encourage and remind people to take preventive measures while they enjoy various outdoor activities.
Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. This type of cancer can almost completely be avoided if people would protect their skin and follow simple guidelines when they are outside.
There are more than 1 million skin cancers diagnosed each year in the United States. That’s more than cancers of the prostate, breast, lung, colon, uterus, ovaries and pancreas combined. And the number of skin cancers has been on the rise for the past few decades.
The vast majority of skin cancers are due to unprotected ultraviolet radiation (UV) exposure. Most of this radiation comes from sunlight, but some may come from artificial sources, such as tanning booths. The amount of UV exposure depends on the strength of the light, the length of exposure and whether the skin is protected.
The American Cancer Society encourages people to enjoy the numerous outdoor activities, but they want them to be sun smart and to follow some easy tips to reduce the risk of skin cancer.
Limit Direct Sun Exposure during Midday
UV rays are most intense during the middle of the day, usually between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you are unsure about the sun's intensity, take the shadow test. If your shadow is shorter than you, the sun's rays are the strongest. If you plan to be outdoors, you may want to check the UV Index in the area.
When in the sun, wear clothing to protect as much skin as possible. Clothes provide different levels of protection, depending on many factors. Long-sleeved shirts, long pants, or long skirts are the most protective. Dark colors generally provide more protection than light colors. A tightly woven fabric protects better than loosely woven clothing. Dry fabric is generally more protective than wet fabric. If you can see light through a fabric, UV rays can get through too. Be aware that covering up doesn’t block out all UV rays. A typical light T-shirt worn in the summer usually provides less protection than a sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher.
Use a Sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or Higher
A sunscreen is a product that you apply to the skin for protection against the sun's UV rays. Sunscreens are available as lotions, creams, ointments, gels and wax sticks. The American Cancer Society recommends products with an SPF of at least 15. The SPF number represents the level of protection against UVB rays provided by the sunscreen -- a higher number means more protection.
Be sure to apply the sunscreen properly. Always follow the label directions. Most recommend applying sunscreen generously to dry skin 20 to 30 minutes before going outside so the chemicals have time to absorb into your skin. When applying, pay close attention to your face, ears, hands and arms. Coat the skin that is not covered by clothing.
Be generous. About 1 ounce of sunscreen (a "palmful") should be used to cover the arms, legs, neck and face of the average adult. For best results, most sunscreens must be reapplied at least every 2 hours and even more often if you are swimming or sweating.
If you or your child burn easily, be extra careful to cover up, limit exposure and apply sunscreen. Do not use sunscreens on babies younger than 6 months. Instead, use hats, clothing and shading to protect small babies from the sun.
Wear a Hat
A hat with at least a 2 to 3 inch brim all around is ideal because it protects areas often exposed to the sun, such as the neck, ears, eyes, forehead, nose and scalp. A shade cap, which looks like a baseball cap with about 7 inches of fabric draping down the sides and back, also is good. These are often sold in sports and outdoor supply stores. A baseball cap can protect the front and top of the head but not the back of the neck or the ears, where skin cancers commonly develop.
Wear Sunglasses That Block UV Rays
Research has shown that long hours in the sun without eye protection increases the chances of developing eye disease. UV-blocking sunglasses can help protect your eyes from sun damage. The ideal sunglasses do not have to be expensive, but they should block 99% to 100% of UVA and UVB radiation.
Avoid Tanning Beds and Sunlamps
Many people believe that the UV rays of tanning beds are harmless. This is not true. Tanning lamps give out UVA and frequently UVB rays as well. Both UVA and UVB rays can cause serious long-term skin damage. Both contribute to skin cancer. Because of these dangers, the American Cancer Society advises people to avoid sunlamps and tanning beds.
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Friday, May 1, 2009
Skin Conditions: Sun Safety Tips
Many people love the warm sun. The sun's rays make us feel good, and in the short term, make us look good. But our love affair isn't a two way street: Exposure to sun causes most of the wrinkles and age spots on our faces and is the number one cause of skin cancer.
In fact, sun exposure causes most of the skin changes that we think of as a normal part of aging. Over time, the sun's ultraviolet (UV) light damages the fibers in the skin called elastin. When these fibers breakdown, the skin begins to sag, stretch, and lose its ability to go back into place after stretching. The skin also bruises and tears more easily -- taking longer to heal. So while sun damage to the skin may not be apparent when you're young, it will definitely show later in life.
How Does the Sun Change My Skin?
Exposure to the sun causes:
* Pre-cancerous (actinic keratosis) and cancerous (basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma) skin lesions
* Benign tumors
* Fine and coarse wrinkles
* Discolored areas of the skin, called mottled pigmentation
* A yellow discoloration of the skin
* The dilation of small blood vessels under the skin
How Can I Protect My Skin From the Sun?
Nothing can completely undo sun damage, although the skin can sometimes repair itself. So, it's never too late to begin protecting yourself from the sun. Follow these tips to help prevent sun-related skin problems:
* Apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or greater 30 minutes before sun exposure and then every few hours thereafter
* Select cosmetic products and contact lenses that offer UV protection
* Wear sunglasses with total UV protection
* Wear wide-brimmed hats, long sleeved shirts and pants
* Avoid direct sun exposure as much as possible during peak UV radiation hours between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
* Perform skin self-exams regularly to become familiar with existing growths and to notice any changes or new growths
* Eighty percent of a person's lifetime sun exposure is acquired before age 18. As a parent, be a good role model and foster skin cancer prevention habits in your child - cover them head to tow with the ultimate in sun protection
* Avoid tanning beds
Reviewed by doctors at The Cleveland Clinic Department of Dermatology.