Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sunburn Tips to Share with Kids

The weather is warming up, the days are longer and there’s more time to be outside doing all kinds of fun things! But if you're going to be out in the sun, especially on a hot day, you need to stay safe. Let's find out how.

Don't Feel the Burn

Even though the sun is hot, it does cool things. It keeps us warm. It makes flowers and plants grow. It even gives us vitamin D so we can better absorb calcium into our bodies for strong bones.

It does all these things by sending down light, which includes invisible ultraviolet (say: ul-trah-vye-uh-lut) rays. These are also sometimes called UV rays. Some ultraviolet rays pass through air and clouds and penetrate the skin. When your skin's been exposed to too many of these rays, you get what's known as a sunburn. Ouch!

Some people get a sunburn faster than others because of their coloring. If you have blond or red hair, light-colored skin, and light-colored eyes, you'll tend to get a sunburn more quickly than someone with dark eyes and skin. That's because you have less melanin (say: meh-luh-nun). Melanin is a chemical in the skin that protects the skin from sun damage by reflecting and absorbing UV rays. People with darker skin have more melanin, but even if you have dark hair, dark eyes, or darker-toned skin, you can still get a sunburn. It will just take a little bit longer.

Sunburns look bad and feel worse. They can cause blisters on your skin. They can keep you inside feeling sore when everyone else is outside having fun. They increase your chance of getting wrinkly when you get older. And worst of all, they can lead to skin cancer when you get older. Because getting wrinkles and getting sick don't happen right away, they can seem like things that could never happen to you. But you still need to be careful.

Prime Time

You don't need to hide from the sun completely or wrap up like a mummy to protect yourself. But you should take these two steps:

1. Always wear sunscreen.
2. Take frequent breaks from the sun by going indoors or moving into the shade.

These steps are especially important between 10:00 in the morning and 4:00 in the afternoon, when the sun's rays are strongest.

Use a sunscreen with an SPF rating of 15 or higher. Put on sunscreen 15 to 20 minutes before going out in the sun. If you are fair skinned, you should use a sunscreen with a higher SPF rating such as SPF 30. The letters SPF stand for sun protection factor, and the number rating tells you how much longer you can stay in the sun without getting sunburned. So if you normally burn after 20 minutes and you put on a sunscreen with an SPF rating of 15, this sunscreen may give you 15 times the protection. That's 15 times 20 minutes, or 300 minutes (5 hours).

But this isn’t always true, so reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours, just to be safe. Do this more often if you've been swimming or sweating a lot - even if the sunscreen is waterproof. And remember that you can get sunburned more quickly when you're swimming or boating because the reflection from the water intensifies the sun's rays.

Be sure to put sunscreen all over your body. This includes some places you might not think of, like the tops of your ears, the back of your neck, the part in your hair, your face, and the tops of your feet. If you want to block the sun's rays, wear clothing that you can't see your hand through. You may still get burned through sheerer fabrics. Wear a fun hat to block your face from the sun.

Don't forget that your eyes need protection from ultraviolet rays, too. Always wear sunglasses in the bright sun, and make sure they have a label saying that they block UV rays.

Drink Up!

Drinking water is an important part of staying healthy, especially when it's hot outside. When you're sweating, you lose water that your body needs to work properly. And if you're playing a sport or running around in the sun, you lose even more water, because you sweat that much more.

So drink up and don't wait until you're thirsty - drinking before you feel thirsty helps keep the water level in your body from dropping too low when it's hot or you're sweating a lot with exercise. If you forget and suddenly feel thirsty, start drinking then. There are lots of cool-looking water bottles around, so get one you really like, fill it up, and drink up!

Got That Hot Feeling?

If you're out in the hot sun, or you're exercising on a hot day, it's easy to get heat exhaustion. Kids get heat exhaustion when their bodies can't cool themselves fast enough. A kid with heat exhaustion might feel overheated, tired, and weak.

Heat exhaustion can come on suddenly. A person may just collapse when playing soccer or tennis, for example. It can leave a person feeling really tired for days after it happens.

Heat stroke is a more serious heat-related illness and can cause a person to stop sweating, to have red, hot skin, and to have a high temperature. The person might become uncoordinated, confused, or even lose consciousness. It requires emergency medical attention.

Be sure to tell an adult if you're hot and you have a headache or feel dizzy or nauseous (like you're going to throw up). The grown-up will want to get you out of the sun, give you liquids to drink, and take you to a doctor, if necessary.

The good news is that the sun doesn't have to be your enemy if you wear your sunscreen, drink your water, and take breaks when you start to feel too hot. And don't forget your sunglasses. Not only do they protect your eyes from the sun, they make you look so cool!

Updated and reviewed by: Kate Cronan, MD
Date reviewed: August 2007

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Virtual Baby Shower Event Update!!

The site has been updated with details on the Baby Shower as well as how you can get in on the fun and help spread the word to raise money for the March of Dimes and The Ronald McDonald House! Check it out today!!

Check us out in Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine!

Our Wrapz Bandannas were featured in May, and our Baby Banz sunglasses in June! Click on the covers to see the feature!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

It's Sun Safety Week!!

This week is National Sun Safety Week! Promote sun safety and skin cancer prevention to your friends, colleagues and loved ones today and every day!

The Sun Safety Alliance provides great resources to help you block the sun, but not the fun!

Activities for Infants & Toddlers

Activities for Preschoolers

Activities for K-2nd grade

Activities for 3rd-5th grade

Activities for Middle School and High School

Did You Know...
- Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States; More than one million skin cancers are diagnosed annually.
- It is estimated that one American dies every hour from skin cancer.
- Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.
- One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.

Visit us at http://usa.babybanz.com for even more sun safety tips!

Congrats to our Comment Contest Winners!!

Congratulations to the 3 winners of our May Comment Contest! Each winner will receive a complete Baby BanZ Protection Collection including a UV swimsuit, Sunglasses, Sun Hat, Sunglass Case, Sunscreen combo pack and Ear Muffs!

Meet our winners and see what they said about their favorite Baby Banz products:

Holly - Campbell, CA
"I have regular sunglasses that are baby sized, but they don't stay on my daughters head. This is a great pair of sunglasses since they stay on with a wrap around strap which is then velcroed together. My daughter does not like to wear sunglasses, but when she is in the water, she is too busy to notice these are on her. I love them."

Ally - Brentwood, CA
"We ordered Baby Banz back when my son was 4 months old, he didnt take to them very well at first, until this summer. One day we took him swimming for the first time (we he was 9 months) and we put on on just fine, now he wears them all the time! The only thing is that they are already too small for his head (he is in the 90th percentile for head) so they didnt last long for me! I will be ordering adventure bands soon! Great product!"

The Pike Family - Ventura, CA
"My son has been using his bucket hat since 3 mos. He absolutely looks adorable and I have the peace of mind that he is fully protected. The colors are great and the hat is very durable. He has it in the blue. He also has the matching sunglasses which get compliments EVERY single time he wears them. (we also have them in green) Now at 14 months he can be a little moody and NOT wear his sunglasses as long as I would like BUT we still take them every where we go. Thanks for a great product."

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