Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hearing and Safety Rules for Children

Hearing loss is the most common congenital condition in the country, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. About 33 babies are born daily with a degree of hearing loss. But, hearing loss may also result from factors such as noise levels or severe ear infections. Hearing plays a significant role in skills such as language development and academic learning. It's essential to ensure your child's hearing is OK early on and to protect it as she grows.

Get a Hearing Test

All newborns should have their hearing tested before they leave the hospital, recommends the AAP. Children with hearing loss rarely have risk factors, so routine early screening takes the guesswork out of whether parents should or should not have their children tested. If your child hasn't had a hearing exam yet, schedule an appointment for him with your doctor or pediatrician as soon as possible. Early intervention---such as speech-language development programs---can improve your child's learning and communication skills.

Reduce Noise

Children may experience noise-induced hearing loss or NIHL when exposed to a loud sound or to one that lasts too long---which damages the tiny sensory cells in the inner ear, explains National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders or NIDCD. It's worse if the sound is too close, which is why health professionals recommend keeping low volumes on radios, TV or headphones. Don't expose your child to loud noises at home, such as drills or lawnmowers. Encourage your child to listen to his mobile audio device at a low volume. Let your child wear hearing protectors if he'll be in a loud environment for a prolonged period.

Watch for Warning Signs

Hearing loss occurs gradually and often goes unnoticed. It's not unusual to miss the signs until advanced or permanent hearing loss occurs, warns the Centers for Disease Control. Symptoms your child may exhibit include constantly asking people to repeat information, listening to the television too loudly, or an inability to hear distant sounds such as birds singing, doorbells, or the telephone. Your child may also look at to read your lips when you're speaking, or start to avoid social situations.

Treat Ear Infections Effectively

About 75 percent of children will have an ear infection or otitis media by the time they're three, according to the NIDCD. When fluid accumulates behind the eardrum, bacteria grow leading to inflammation of the middle ear. Ear infections often develop after your child has a cold or sore throat, the NIDCD explains. Poorly treated or repeated ear infections can cause hearing loss. Seek medical attention as soon as possible.


Article reviewed by Jenna Marie Last updated on: Aug 15, 2010

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Monday, October 31, 2011

Summer Tips to beat the heat!

Apply Sunscreen Frequently Nothing can ruin an otherwise great day like a nasty sunburn. We all know we should use it, but there are some things you need to be aware of before you head out this season. Just this week the FDA announced new guidelines for sun protection and offered other advice for avoiding sun burns and skin damage.
·      Most people don’t put on enough sunscreen. Doctors say that to be fully covered, you need to apply the equivalent of a shot glass full of lotion to your body.
·      You need to reapply sunscreen every 90 minutes to 2 hours
·      Make sure your sunscreen is “broad-spectrum” and protects against both UVB and UVA rays.
·      Choose an SPF of at least 30. Doctors say that anything over SPF 50 doesn’t really mean anything.
·      New guidelines will no longer allow sunscreens to claim they are “water proof” or “sweat proof.” They can claim they are “water-resistant” but even so, doctors and scientists say, you still need to apply every 90 minutes to 2 hrs.

Drink water! It’s very easy to become dehydrated in hot weather, and children are very susceptible to water loss. Although they may ask for soda or juice, make sure they (and you) are mostly drinking water. Sugary drinks, whether natural or artificial, are simply not as effective at hydration (and they add unnecessary calories).
Warning signs of dehydration include:
·      Feeling dizzy
·      Having a dry or sticky mouth
·      Producing less or darker urine
If you notice any of these signs in yourself or in your children, get somewhere cool as quickly as possible and drink cool water.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Q&A: FDA puts new regulations on Sunscreen in the USA - what you need to know

Questions and Answers: FDA announces new requirements for over-the-counter (OTC) sunscreen products marketed in the U.S.

[updated 6/23/2011]

On June 14, 2011 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced new requirements for sunscreens currently sold over-the-counter (OTC) (i.e. non-prescription). These requirements support the Agency's ongoing efforts to ensure that sunscreens meet modern-day standards for safety and effectiveness. The new requirements, as well as several proposed changes for future rules, are outlined in four regulatory documents that include a Final Rule, a Proposed Rule, an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, and a Draft Guidance for Industry.

The following questions and answers provide a brief overview of the recent regulatory actions and highlight the most important information for consumers to know when buying and using sunscreen products.

Q1. Why is FDA making changes to how sunscreens are marketed in the United States?

Q2. When will these changes take effect?
Q3. What does the SPF value on sunscreen labels indicate?
Q4. Does FDA believe sunscreens are still safe and effective? Do consumers need to throw away the sunscreens they are currently using?
Q5. What do consumers most need to know when buying and using sunscreens?
Q6. What are the main points of the new Final Rule?
Q7. Does the Final Rule apply to cosmetics and moisturizers containing sunscreen?
Q8. What does the Proposed Rule address?
Q9. What is the purpose of the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR)?
Q10. Why is the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) requesting additional data on sunscreen products in the form of sprays?
Q11. What is included in the Draft Guidance for Industry?
Q12. Why isn't FDA finalizing all the proposed sunscreen changes under one rule?
Q13. Where can I find more information on these various regulatory actions?
Q14. Where can I find more information on sunscreen use?

Q1. Why is FDA making changes to how sunscreens are marketed in the United States? 
A. FDA is making changes to how sunscreens are marketed in the United States as part of the Agency's ongoing efforts to ensure that sunscreens meet modern-day standards for safety and effectiveness and to help consumers have the information they need so they can choose the right sun protection for themselves and their families. Prior rules on sunscreens dealt almost exclusively with protection against sunburn, which is primarily caused by ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation from the sun, and did not address ultraviolet A (UVA) radiation, which contributes to skin cancer and early skin aging. After reviewing the latest science, FDA determined that sufficient data are available to establish a "broad spectrum" test for determining a sunscreen product's UVA protection. Passing the broad spectrum test shows that the product provides UVA protection that is proportional to its UVB protection.
Sunscreen products that pass the broad spectrum test are allowed to be labeled as "Broad Spectrum." These "Broad Spectrum" sunscreens protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Scientific data demonstrated that products that are "Broad Spectrum SPF 15 [or higher]" have been shown to reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging when used with other sun protection measures, in addition to helping prevent sunburn. Other sun protection measures include limiting time in the sun and wearing protective clothing.
These testing and labeling requirements are necessary to provide consumers with the information they need to make informed choices when selecting sunscreens.

Q2. When will these changes take effect?  
A. The Final Rule will take effect by the summer of 2012, but consumers may begin to see changes to sunscreen labels before the effective date.
Q3. What does the SPF value on sunscreen labels indicate? 
A. The SPF value indicates the level of sunburn protection provided by the sunscreen product. All sunscreens must be tested according to an SPF test procedure. The test measures the amount of ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure it takes to cause sunburn when a person is using a sunscreen in comparison to how much UV exposure it takes to cause a sunburn when they do not use a sunscreen. The product is then labeled with the appropriate SPF value indicating the amount of sunburn protection provided by the product. Higher SPF values (up to 50) provide greater sunburn protection. Because SPF values are determined from a test that measures protection against sunburn caused by ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation, SPF values only indicate a sunscreen's UVB protection.
However, sunscreens that pass the new broad spectrum test will have demonstrated that they also provide ultraviolet A (UVA) protection that is proportional to their UVB protection. To pass the broad spectrum test, sunscreens with higher SPF values will provide higher levels of UVA protection as well. Therefore, under the new label requirements, a higher SPF value for sunscreens labeled "Broad Spectrum SPF [value]" will indicate a higher level of protection from both UVA and UVB radiation.
Q4. Does FDA believe sunscreens are still safe and effective? Do consumers need to throw away the sunscreens they are currently using? 
A. The ingredients in FDA-approved sunscreens marketed today have been used for many years, and FDA has no reason to believe these products are not safe and effective when used as directed. Therefore, FDA is not advising consumers to throw away their current sunscreen products.
Sunscreens on the shelf today may have varying levels of ultraviolet A (UVA) radiation protection, but by next year, sunscreens that claim to provide UVA protection, otherwise known as broad spectrum protection, will be required to pass FDA's standardized test. This broad spectrum test will enable consumers to determine the level of UVA protection a sunscreen provides in addition to its ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation protection. This information will allow them to better manage their skin cancer and early skin aging risks. FDA does not want consumers to stop using currently marketed sunscreens in the meantime, as these products still offer sun protection.
It is also important to note that FDA is not questioning the safety of any ingredients used in marketed sunscreens. FDA believes the risk of not using sunscreen is much greater than any potential risk posed by sunscreen ingredients.

Q5. What do consumers most need to know when buying and using sunscreens? 
A. Spending time in the sun increases a person's risk of skin cancer and early skin aging.To reduce these risks, consumers should regularly use a Broad Spectrum sunscreen with an SPF value of 15 or higher in combination with other protective measures such as:
  • Limiting time in the sun, especially between the hours of 10 AM and 2 PM when the sun's rays are the strongest.
  • Wearing clothing to cover skin exposed to the sun (long-sleeved shirts, pants, sunglasses, and broad-brimmed hats) when possible.
  • Using a water resistant sunscreen if swimming or sweating.
  • Reapplying sunscreen, even if it is labeled as water resistant, at least every 2 hours. (Water resistant sunscreens should be reapplied more often after swimming or sweating, according to the directions on the label.)
Consumers should also be aware that no sunscreens are "waterproof" because all sunscreens eventually wash off. Sunscreens can only be labeled as "water resistant" if they are tested according to the required SPF test procedure. Sunscreens labeled "water resistant" sunscreens will also be required to state whether the sunscreen remains effective for 40 minutes or 80 minutes when swimming or sweating, and all sunscreens will be required to provide directions on when to reapply.
Q6. What are the main points of the new Final Rule? 
A. The new final rule includes the following requirements:
  • Broad Spectrum designation. Sunscreens that pass FDA's broad spectrum test procedure, which measures a product's ultraviolet A (UVA) protection relative to its ultraviolet B (UVB) protection, may be labeled as "Broad Spectrum SPF [value]" on the front label. For Broad Spectrum sunscreens, SPF values also indicate the amount or magnitude of overall protection. Broad Spectrum SPF products with SPF values higher than 15 provide greater protection and may claim additional uses, as described in the next bullet.
  • Use claims. Only Broad Spectrum sunscreens with an SPF value of 15 or higher can claim to reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging if used as directed with other sun protection measures. Non-Broad Spectrum sunscreens and Broad Spectrum sunscreens with an SPF value between 2 and 14 can only claim to help prevent sunburn.
  • "Waterproof," "sweatproof" or "sunblock" claims. Manufacturers cannot label sunscreens as "waterproof" or "sweatproof," or identify their products as "sunblocks," because these claims overstate their effectiveness. Sunscreens also cannot claim to provide sun protection for more than 2 hours without reapplication or to provide protection immediately after application (for example-- "instant protection") without submitting data to support these claims and obtaining FDA approval.
  • Water resistance claims. Water resistance claims on the front label must indicate whether the sunscreen remains effective for 40 minutes or 80 minutes while swimming or sweating, based on standard testing. Sunscreens that are not water resistant must include a direction instructing consumers to use a water resistant sunscreen if swimming or sweating.
  • Drug Facts. All sunscreens must include standard "Drug Facts" information on the back and/or side of the container.

Q7. Does the Final Rule apply to cosmetics and moisturizers containing sunscreen?
A. Yes. All products that claim to provide Broad Spectrum SPF protection are regulated as sunscreen drug products. Therefore, the regulations FDA has developed for OTC sunscreen drug products apply to cosmetics and moisturizers labeled with SPF values.

Q8. What does the Proposed Rule address? 
A. The proposed rule, if finalized, would limit the maximum SPF value on sunscreen labels to "50 +" because there is not sufficient data to show that products with SPF values higher than 50 provide greater protection for users than products with SPF values of 50.
The proposed regulation is available for public comment at regulations.gov until September 15, 2011.
Q9. What is the purpose of the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR)? 
A. The Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) allows the public a period of time to comment on regulations FDA may pursue as part of future rulemaking. In developing regulations for over-the-counter (OTC) sunscreens, FDA has not previously specified to which dosage forms the regulations would apply. Therefore, FDA is requesting additional data relating to sunscreen products in specific dosage forms to further our understanding of how dosage forms affect the safety and effectiveness of sunscreen products. For example, the ANPR invites public comment on possible directions for use of and warnings for sunscreen sprays, as well as supporting data or information for sprays and other sunscreen dosage forms including lotions, oils, sticks, gels, butters, ointments, creams, and pastes. The ANPR also explains how interested parties can supply information for FDA to consider other dosage forms, including powders, towelettes, body washes, and shampoos.

Q10. Why is the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) requesting additional data on sunscreen products in the form of sprays?  
A. Currently, the record (data and information) about sunscreens in spray dosage forms is not comparable to that for sunscreens in other dosage forms such as oils, creams, and lotions. The manner of application differs significantly between sprays and these other dosage forms. Therefore, we are requesting additional data to address questions of effectiveness and safety that arise from differences in the manner of application.

Q11. What is included in the Draft Guidance for Industry?
A. The Draft Guidance for Industry, entitled "Enforcement Policy – OTC Sunscreen Drug Products Marketed Without an Approved Application (PDF - 83KB)," is an enforcement guidance that includes information to help sunscreen product manufacturers understand how to label and test their products in light of the new Final Rule, the Proposed Rule, and the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR).
Q12. Why isn't FDA finalizing all the proposed sunscreen changes under one rule? 
A. FDA is finalizing those changes that are based on proposals it made in earlier stages of rulemaking, including a 2007 proposed rule, on which it already received public comment. Those comments also helped to inform the Agency's thinking about additional aspects of sunscreen regulation, which in turn gave rise to the Proposed Rule and Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR). The regulatory process requires FDA to give public notice and opportunity for comment before finalizing additional changes, which also gives the public and FDA an opportunity to further develop the record (data and information) on safety and effectiveness.

Q13. Where can I find more information on these various regulatory actions? 
A. On June 17, 2011, FDA published the new sunscreen Final Rule (PDF - 485KB), the Proposed Rule (PDF - 197KB), the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) (PDF - 187KB) and the notice of availability of the Draft Guidance for Industry (PDF - 217KB) in the Federal Register. The draft guidance entitled "Enforcement Policy – OTC Sunscreen Drug Products Marketed Without an Approved Application" (PDF - 83KB), is also available. 

Q14. Where can I find more information on sunscreen use? 
A. Additional information about FDA's changes to sunscreen regulations can be found at www.fda.gov/sunscreen. At this link, consumers can see what new sunscreen labels will look like, what types of sun protection various sunscreens will provide, and how to use sunscreens safely and effectively.
In addition, FDA responded to common questions about the new sunscreen regulations submitted by the WebMD community via Twitter and Facebook. These questions and FDA's responses can be found at WebMD Newsroom: FDA's New Sunscreen Rules - FAQ.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Are tanning salons safe?

My 17-year-old daughter wants to go tanning at a tanning salon. She says all her friends are doing it. Is this safe?
- Anjali

Even though tanning seems to be all the rage with teens, it's best for them to stay out of tanning salons. Though tanning booths mostly use UVA rays that are less likely to burn skin, don't be fooled. These UVA rays are involved in the development of skin damage that can lead to skin cancer. UVA rays have a longer wavelength and penetrate to the deeper layers of the skin, so they're also responsible for premature wrinkling of the skin.

If your daughter is set on getting a few shades darker, suggest sunless tanners that can be bought in any drugstore. Also, make sure she applies plenty of sunscreen before hitting the beach or spending time outdoors.

Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: April 2009

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Medical Minute: Protecting kids' eyes from the sun

The Medical Minute: Protecting kids' eyes from the sun

Tuesday, August 2, 2011
By Marianne E. Boltz

It’s summer vacation time! Moms and Dads everywhere are busily shopping for that highly anticipated week at the beach or campground. What one item is on most everyone’s list? Sunscreen. We all know the importance protecting children’s delicate skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. But what many parents forget are the short- and long-term effects of the sun on children’s developing eyes. Even the most diligent mom or dad who may remember to pack sunglasses for the kids at the beach all too often forget about the other 51 weeks of the year when their kids are outside playing. A staggering statistic: the World Health Organization reports that about 80 percent of exposure to UV light occurs before age 18.

Long-term exposure to UV radiation can be serious. Research has shown that exposure to small amounts of UV radiation over a period of many years increases the chance of developing cataracts and may cause damage to the retina, the nerve-rich lining of the eye that is responsible for our sharp vision. Long-term exposure to the blue and violet portion of the solar spectrum has been implicated as a risk factor for macular degeneration, especially for individuals who are “sun sensitive” with pale complexions. Chronic UV exposure can also cause skin cancer of the eyelids and skin around the eyes. A more immediate type of sun damage to the eye is photokeratitis, a painful burn of the eye's surface causing symptoms such as red eyes, a foreign body sensation or gritty feeling in the eyes, extreme sensitivity to light and excessive tearing.

In addition to having children wear a hat or cap with a wide brim while outdoors, there are several things to keep in mind when discussing sun protection for children. Polycarbonate lens material always is a good idea for prescription or nonprescription sunglasses, as it is considered a “safety” material, particularly important for active children. Photochromic or Transitions lenses, those that darken when outdoors, can be an especially convenient and effective option for children who normally wear glasses on a full-time basis. Lastly, it is never too soon to start having children wear sun protection: infants and toddlers are particularly sensitive to bright light and the damaging rays of the sun. In general, parents of infants 6 months and younger should not expose them to direct sunlight. Children age 6 to 36 months should wear infant or toddler-sized sunglasses such as Baby Banz, which are available in specialty optical shops or online. These have a comfortable, wrap-around neoprene band attached to the front frame and lenses which provides a secure fit for an infant’s small facial features and head.

The American Optometric Association offers the following recommendations when purchasing sunglasses for children or adults:

-- Don’t be misled by faulty UV claims or labeling. Buy sunglasses where there is equipment available to check the lenses’ UV protection capabilities. Price alone cannot guarantee quality UV protection.
-- Check lenses to be sure the tint is uniform, not darker in one area than another and free of distortions.
-- Be sure the lenses block enough light. If you can see your eyes easily through the lenses, they probably are not dark enough.
-- At a minimum, look for sunglasses that block at least 99 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation, screen out 75 percent to 90 percent of visible light, and are gray for proper color recognition.
-- If possible, choose a wrap-around sunglass frame -- these provide added side protection from bright light and UV radiation.

The old saying holds true: “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Your children will thank you in years to come for protecting such an amazing gift as their eyes and vision. And, really, what’s one more thing to add to your shopping list? Enjoy your summer vacation!

Marianne E. Boltz, O.D., FAAO, is a pediatric optometrist and assistant professor of ophthalmology at Penn State Hershey Eye Center.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Baby Banz launches Sun Screen for Kids

 -One 1.5oz tube of SPF 30 Sunscreen
 -One 2oz Aloe Gator After Sun Lotion
 -One 2oz Hand Sanitizer with Moisturizing Beads
 -One SPF 30 Cherry Lip Balm with Carabiner
 All packaged in a TSA ready, Resealable Plastic Bag. The perfect gift for Summer Travel!
SunscreenAloe Gator® SPF30 sunblock is oil- and PABA-free so it’s easy on your skin. It’s non-greasy, water-resistant, and dries quickly. Convenient Travel Size Carabiner Clip Bottle Great for any outdoor or water sport.  UVA/UVB protection, SPF 30. Unscented.
Lip Balm - Moisturizes and protects lips from dryness and sun damage. Cherry flavored. PABA free formula with added Aloe and Vitamin E.
Aloe Gator After Sun Lotion -This rich formulation of soothing moisturizing ingredients makes AFTER SUN LOTION the very best protection against the effects of exposure to sun and wind. Its 9 botanical extract soften the skin, while the Aloe Vera and Vitamin E  restore moisture, promote healing and help prevent peeling.
Hand Sanitizer - Moisturizing Jojoba Beads for Dry Hands Allows you to Clean and Soften Hands in One Application
Kills 99.9 % of all Bacteria. 62% Alcohol

Thanks Dad Giveaway Winner Announced

Thanks Dad Giveaway Winner!

An alternate winner has been chosen since the first did not respond - the alternate winner is:
Briann said...
i would pick the junior banz in groovy pink size 4-10 and the beach tee in light pink size XS

As always, we have utilized Random.org to choose a winner for our monthly contest. The winner is comment #50 -
Kelley said...
I would choose thenavy ball cap for my husband and soon to be new dad.
 Congrats Kelley - she will win her choice of a hat or Tshirt from ThanksDad as well has sunglasses from Baby Banz!

True Random Number Generator 
1 93 50 
  Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sun Protection Specifically for Kids

Sun Protection for Children

Sun protection for children is vital to the overall health of an emerging generation. They need to learn from an early age the benefits and dangers about the sun. The sun is vital to our existence – we all know and understand this. But as with most things in life, nothing is perfect.

With the hours children spend in front of computers and video games, it’s a gift when we see them playing outside. But even with this trend, there is still a rise in childhood skin disease and skin cancer.
Children’s skin is more vulnerable to be damaged by the sun’s UVA and UVB rays and it is widely believed that 80% of our lifetime sun exposed happens before our 18th birthday. Just a few serious
sunburns in a child’s early years can increase the possibility of a skin cancer diagnosis as an adult, especially melanoma – the most serious from of skin cancer. Non–melanoma skin cancers are linked to long term sun exposure, such as summers at the shore and playing school sports, especially for those with fair skin, freckles, light hair and eyes.

Skin Cancer in Children:It is a myth that skin cancer is not a threat to children or teens. Skin damage accumulates over our lifetime and our childhood is the beginning of that life. As parents we try to teach our kids to eat right and exercise to keep healthy.

It’s only natural to teach them about the sun, limiting the amount of sun exposure, using sun-protective measures when outside, such as sunscreen and sun-protective apparel, and to avoid tanning beds.

Until recently, melanoma in children was almost unheard of, but there have been over 500 reported cases during the past decade alone and that number is expected to rise. As you would imagine, most parents or pediatricians don’t expect to find skin cancer in children. Because of this, pediatric melanoma often goes undiagnosed until the condition reaches the later stages, many times putting the child in great risk of a poor outcome.

Children need sun protection and education
Educational programs geared toward Sun Protection for Children.
Educating our children about sun protection is urgently needed. We need to raise awareness about the dangers of UV radiation that will create changes in our lifestyles and reverse the growing trend towards more skin disease and skin cancers.
There have been many educational programs created for schools and communities to use to spread the word about sun protection for children. Most of these campaigns center around the same simple principles:
YES - these all apply to adults too.

Seek Shade: UV rays are strongest and most harmful during midday sun (between 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.), so it's best to limit outdoor activities during this time. Try to seek shade under a tree, but if this is not possible try an umbrella, or a pop-up tent.

 Cover-Up: Clothing that covers as much of your child's skin is best. A Long-sleeved shirt and long pants with a tight weave are best, but they aren't always practical. A loose fitting T-shirt, long shorts, or a beach cover-up are good choices, too. There are many places to buy clothing and swimwear made with built in sun protection for children.

Get a Hat: Hats with wide brims that shade the face, scalp, ears, eyes and neck provide great protection. Baseball caps are popular, but they don't protect their ears and neck.

Wear Sunglasses: Look for sunglasses that wrap around and block as close to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays as possible. This will greatly reduce sun exposure which can lead to cataracts and other eye damage later in life.

Sunscreen: Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 15+ every time your child goes outside. For the best protection, apply sunscreen generously 30 minutes before going outdoors. Don't forget to protect ears, noses, lips, and the tops of feet and reapply every two hours.

Find out more about the many sun protection for children campaigns and start one in your community or child’s school.
Sun Protection for Children education is as important as Anti-Smoking, Anti-Drugs and Anti-Drinking education.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sun Safety Week June 1-7

Sun Safety Week

June 1 - 7

Baby Banz is excited to help you and your customers celebrate Sun Safety Week, an important awareness event that was first observed in 2004. Sun Safety Week is organized by The Sun Safety Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public and showing them how they can adopt and practice safe sun protection. During Sun Safety Week, families are encouraged to learn more about sun protection methods and to actively use these methods to protect themselves and their families. Unfortunately, skin cancer is at a record high, so it is very important that people learn the risks of prolonged exposure to UV rays.

To help raise awareness and promote proper sun protection, Baby Banz has a nice selection of promotional items. These items can be given away to customers and local schools/preschools to help advertise your business while also teaching people about the benefits of safe sun practices. An excellent promotional giveaway for this month are Baby Banz Adventure Banz wrap-around sunglasses for ages 0-5.
This helpful product will show your customers that you care about their health and want them to stay informed. Give us a call today 877-333-0074 to find out about our discounts for companies that giveaway Baby Banz!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

How to choose the right sunscreen for you and yoru family.

Confused by the types of sunscreens available?

With so many types of sunscreens on the market, it's no wonder we get overwhelmed at the drug store when we go to stock up for summer.
The types of sunscreen you choose is really a matter of personal choice.
You need to decide:
    • What feels best on your skin. • Which is easiest to apply and re-apply. • What activities are you participating in? (e.g. Running, biking, hiking, swimming, surfing, skiing or sun bathing). • Are you using it on your face or body?

Sunscreens are available in many forms including:
  • Gel sunscreen
  • Cream sunscreen
  • Sunscreen lotions
  • Sunscreen wipe
  • Spray sunscreen
  • Colored sunscreen
  • Powder sunscreen
Some people complain that certain types of sunscreens make them break-out, are too oily, cause allergic reactions, dry their skin out or are full of harmful chemicals.
Over the last few years the advancements in many new types of sunscreen have eliminated many of these problems.

We recommend broad spectrum sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection, a SPF rating of 30 or higher and is gentle enough to wear everyday.

If you have sensitive skin:
Look for all natural sunscreen:
  • Paba free sunscreen - most sunscreens are now PABA-free
  • oil-free sunscreen -
  • hypoallergenic, fragrance free sunscreen, chemical free sunscreen
  • mineral based sunscreen - the minerals titanium dioxide and zinc oxide sit on the skin instead of being absorbed into it
Many parents opt for sunscreens made for sensitive skin to use on their children. For more information about sunscreen for children, click here:

If you're acne-prone:
look for:
  • Light, oil free lotions will not clog pores
  • With chemical sunscreens avobenzone and oxybenzone
  • Non-comedogenic (meaning it won't clog pores) and is fragrance-free

If you have oily skin, look for:

  • Mineral oil-free sunscreen
  • Non-comedogenic sunscreen
  • Sunscreens that are oil free are usually water or gel based

Good common sense tips for Acne-prone, oily and sensitive skin:

  • Don't use the same sunscreen meant for your body on your face
  • If you are using a topical acne treatment? Apply it first, wait 20 minutes or so and then apply your sun protection over the top
  • Remember to wash your face before going to bed to prevent pores from clogging

If you’re a swimmer or outdoor sports “person”, look for:

  • Water-resistant or waterproof sun protection
  • The highest SPF you can find ( No sunscreen is 100 % water and sweat proof )
  • Keep away from your eyes
  • Re-apply after you get out of the water or every 2 hours

If you've got dry skin, look for:

  • Try creams or lotions with extra hydrating ingredients like glycerin and aloe.
  • Avoid sprays and gels with alcohol

If you want all organic, look for:

  • Products contain herbs, minerals, and plants only
  • Chemical-free

Which type of sunblock is better: Chemical vs.Physical?

The key to finding the best types of sunscreens for you is to shop around. If you don’t like one product, try another, and another until you find the ones you like.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Is my sunscreen enough, is it even still good?

How to determine the effectiveness of sunscreens

The effectiveness of sunscreens are determined by it's age and where you stored it during the winter.
It’s finally summer and you've got the cooler's stocked, your favorite swimsuit still fits (phew)and you grabbed the suntan lotion from last summer and threw it in your beach bag.
You’re ready and heading out the door: STOP!!!

Ask yourself this question first: How old is my sunscreen?
If you don't know the answer - throw it away and buy a new bottle.

We often have several bottles of sunscreen laying around our house, car or boat and have no clue how old they are and if they're still any good.

It's a very common question – Does sunscreens expire? YES – Just like any medication, the effectiveness of sunscreens will deteriorate over time.

Here are a few tips to make sure your sunscreen is still effective:

1. Look for an Expiration date.
  • If you can’t find one – TOSS IT - a new one should cost less than $20

2. Sunscreens have a shelf life of 2-3 years from the date of manufacture.
  • The FDA requires sunscreens to remain at their original strength for at least three years.
  • However, the manufacture date and the date you bought it are two different things. Sometime sunscreen sits on the drug store shelf for 6 months to a year.
  • I suggest buying sunscreen at the beginning of each season when the store shelves have just been re-stocked with new merchandise.
  • Use a permanent marker to note your own “use by” date.
3. Sunscreen should be stored at a temperature of about 77º F.
  • When stored at high temperature – the effectiveness of sunscreen decreases and become less stable and reliable.
  • Replace your sunscreen if you kept it in your car, boat, garage, golf bag, or beach bag last year. It probably got very hot and has degraded.
  • Keep your sunscreen in your cooler when you go to the beach, lake or any outdoor activity – It feels cool and refreshing when you re-apply.
4. Don’t buy sunscreen “on sale” at the end of the season. It’s a waste of money.
  • Do not buy sunscreen in bulk unless you and your family go through a couple of bottles of sunscreen a season. That is the only time it’s a good deal – sorry, Costco and Sam’s Club shoppers.

The effectiveness of sunscreen is important – old and uncared for sunscreen can easily turn into glorified moisturizers with no sun protection at all.
Bottom line: To be on the safe side, buy new sunscreen every year.
Sunscreen should not be your only strategy for skin protection. Even with sunscreen, exposure from intense rays can still be dangerous. Use sun protective clothing for added protection.

LOVE the sun....Hate the burn.

Monday, May 23, 2011

CLOSED: Thanks Dad and Baby Banz June Giveaway!! ends 6/10/11

Baby Banz and Thanks Dad June Giveaway!

Thanks Dad is teaming up with Baby Banz for a new giveaway!

"Say Thanks, Dad and get some cool glasses for you!"

The winner receives a t-shirt or hat of their choice from Thanks Dad AND Sunglasses and a Case from Baby Banz!
As studies reveal the damaging effects of UV damage, we must not overlook the need to also preserve children’s sensitive skin and eyes.  Get your child a pair of sunglasses from the industry’s leader in all aspects of sun protection for children 10 and under.  Famous for their unique, wraparound sunglasses with the neoprene band, Baby Banz assure a comfortable, snug fit for those delicate noggins, leaving out the dangers of having sunglass arms snapping off or poking someone in the eye!

Baby Banz were originally designed in Australia for one of the world’s toughest UV environments. Clinically tested by one of the world’s leading authorities on sunglasses, Baby Banz have passed the most stringent standards on sunglasses in the world! A testament to their outstanding quality, Baby Banz has been endorsed by the Melanoma International Foundation, Vision Australia, InfantSEE and the Cancer Society of Australia. In addition, Baby Banz has been recognized by iParenting Media, the Toy Man, Creative Child Magazine, The New Parents Guide and hordes of other media outlets as the Ultimate in Children's Sun Protection. Get your child the protection they need for their eyes, without sacrificing an ounce of comfort or style.

Thanks Dad apparel and accessories is a great way to say “Thanks Dad” for those unique experiences shared by a father and his child. Riding bikes, reading stories, flying kites, going places, taking hikes, playing catch, doing chores: these moments are filled with love, learning and joy. They stay in our hearts forever but fade from memory far too soon. A gift from Thanks Dad keeps them fresh and near. It captures the spirit of those wonderful moments and says much more than “Thanks Dad!” it says, “I love you”. All Thanks Dad shirts are made from the highest quality, 100% cotton and are produced in the USA. They can be purchased individually or in quantity to suit any need.

Check out some of our designs and… be inspired! 

*Note from Shari @BabyBanz - Our kids got my husband one of the "Beach" shirts pictured here for chrstmas - it was a great way to say "Thanks,Dad" for all of their new experiences here in Hawaii with Dad at the beach. He loves it, and it's a sentimental design without all those sometimes cheesy and over-the-top "#1 Dad" cartoons so he can wear it proudly in public.

You will win your choice of (1) Adventure Banz and (1) Sunglasses Case as well as your choice of a shirt or Hat from Thanks Dad.

How to enter:

Take a look around BabyBanz.com and Thanks-Dad and tell us what you would choose if you won with what size and color! (2 entries)

Follow @babybanz on Twitter and let us know that you did (or already do)! (1 entry)

Follow @thanksdad on Twitter and let us know that you did (or already do)! (1 entry)

Tweet about the giveaway by copying and pasting the following text-
RT @babybanz @thanksdad Say "Thanks, Dad!" this father's Day with Baby Banz! Giveaway ends 6/10, {http://tinyurl.com/3hu2dwl}

You may tweet the giveaway as many times as you like, but there is only one entry per tweet. Please leave the permalink of your tweet in your comment.

Blog about the giveaway, linking to Baby Banz and Thanks-Dad. Then come back and leave a comment letting us know that you did. You must leave the direct link to your post! (5 entries)

Fan Baby Banz on FaceBook ! (1 entry)

Fan Thanks Dad on Facebook! (1 entry) 

Follow the Baby Banz Blog (publicly) (1 entry)

Subscribe to the Baby Banz Inc Newsletter (1 entry)

Make a purchase before June 10th from Baby Banz or Thanks-Dad (10 entries)

Please note to get all of your entries counted, for each thing that you do you MUST leave a separate comment for each entry! Example, if you do something that gives you 3 entries you must leave three comments to get those 3 entries. If you do not leave separate comments per entry then your comment will be counted as one entry except where indicated. We do check every entry to make sure that you did what the entry required. Your entry can and will be deleted if you do not follow the entry rules listed above.

Contest open to US residents only. Must be 18 years of age to enter. Contest ends 6/10/11 at 11:59 CST. Winners will be chosen by Random.org at the end of the contest and notified via email as well as posted on our site. Please make sure that your email address is obtainable by Baby Banz Inc. Winner has 48 hours to claim their prize before Baby Banz Inc chooses another winner. Family members of Baby Banz Inc and Thanks Dad are ineligible to enter in any of our contests.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

What should I look for in sunglasses?

What do I need to know about sunglasses?

The most important things to look for when choosing a pair of sunglasses is the amount of UV light that is blocked by the sunglasses and a proper fit. Lenses should be large enough to shield your eyes from most angles. It is important to note that darker lenses in sunglasses do not necessarily offer better UV protection. Sunglasses have many features, not all of which are related to the amount of sun protection they provide:
  • Blocks 99% of UV light:
    This is a very important thing to look for when purchasing sunglasses. This claim tells you that the sunglasses block 99 percent of harmful UV rays. The tag may also say "UV absorption up to 400 nm".
  • Wrap-around:
    This is another important thing to look for when purchasing sunglasses. These types of sunglasses wrap around the face and protect eyes from all angles.
  • Polycarbonate lenses:
    This type of lens is the most impact-resistant lens on the market today. (This type of lens does not necessarily offer better UV protection than other types of lenses.)
  • Blocks 90 percent of infrared rays:
    The amount of infrared rays sunglasses block does not effect the UV protectiveness of sunglasses. (Infrared rays are not harmful to eyes.)
  • Polarized:
    This type of lens does not help protect your eyes from damaging UV rays. However, this type of lens can improve eyesight by reducing distracting surface glare, most notably from water and snow.
In early 2000, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) has published new national standards for the preparation and labeling of fabrics and garments intended to protect humans from the sun's UVA and UVB radiation. The American Sun Protection Association (ASPA), a member of the ASTM standard drafting committee, is leading a national effort to encourage the sun protective clothing industry to adopt and promote the new standards in the U.S. marketplace.

The new ASTM standards D6544 and D6603 combine with AATCC 183 to form the most stringent UV-protective clothing standard in the world. "This is the credibility boost the U.S. sun protective clothing industry has been waiting for," said Mary Buller, ASPA Executive Director. "Finally, consumers will know what UPF is and will come to trust that the garment they buy will provide the same level of UV protection during its use-Iife as it did on the day it was purchased."

UPF Values Allowed
on Labels
Approximate % UV
Good UV Protection 15-24 15 and 20 93.3% - 95.8%
Very Good UV Protection 25-39 25, 30 and 35 96.0% - 97.4%
Excellent UV Protection 40-50+ 40, 45, 50 and 50+ 97.5% - 98.0%

D6544 requires fabrics making a claim of sun protectiveness to (a) undergo 40 simulated launderings, (b) be exposed to 100 fading units of simulated sunlight, and if intended for swimsuits, and (c) be exposed to chlorinated water prior to UV- transmission testing. The standards are currently voluntary, but could become mandatory if not adopted by the industry in a timely manner. Sun protection claims will be monitored by the FTC.

Educational Spotlight: UV Rays

About UV Rays


Skin reacts to UV radiation by a change in the melanin content.  Under strong radiation or conditions of slow change, the familiar reddening (“erythema”) occurs, followed by sunburn and soreness. Human racial groups vary by hair color, skin color, eye type and reaction to exposure to UV radiation. There are six recognized skin types as regards the effects of UV.
Skin type, definition & reaction
  1. Red or blond hair, blue-green eyes very light shin –> Mostly burns, does not tan
  2. Light-medium hair, eyes and skin –> Usually burns, seldom tans
  3. Medium hair, medium to dark eyes, medium to olive skin –> Moderately burns, lightly tans
  4. Dark hair, eyes dark, olive to light brown skin –> Burns mildly, tans to moderate brown
  5. Dark hair, eyes and skin –> Seldom burns, tans to dark brown
  6. Dark hair, eyes and very dark skin –> Insensitive, does not burn
How does this range affect you?  The permissible time for exposure to UV radiation on a midsummer day at sea level at or near the equator without using sunscreen ranges from 20 minutes for individuals with Skin Type 2, to 100 minutes for those with Skin Type 4.
The erythemal potential due to exposure to UV radiation is usually referred to in units of Minimum Erythemal Doses (“MED”) caused by the exposure.  One MED is defined as the amount of UV radiation that produces a just noticeable erythema on previously unexposed skin, and is different for the different skin types.
Most people are unaware of the damage that can be caused even after exposure to low intensity UV radiation, because the dose is accumulated during exposure of varying duration at different times in a daily routine.  Usually the first visible sign is the sunburn, which might appear a few hours after the exposure, while skin cancer may appear years later.  This means that the individual becomes aware of the danger after the damage has been done.
Most people do not routinely use sunscreens unless they are on the beach or a trip.  Even then, they usually do not apply the sunscreens periodically, as they should because it gradually dissipates through perspiration and absorption in the skin.
Altitude, latitude, season, air pollution, clouds, and other factors influence the effective UV radiation level. Therefore it is very difficult to give accurate, reliable and timely warnings to the public about the UV radiation levels for specific location and day time.
The only practical means of protection is a personal dosimeter, a device that measures and indicates the amount of radiation absorbed in a given period.
Currently UVSunSense manufactures and sells a personal dosimeter in the form of a wristband for people with skin type 1 and all children regardless of their skin type.  Coming soon will be two additional bands; Bands, one made for skin types 2 & 3 and another for skin types 4 & 5.
As a safety precaution, each band type is calibrated to finish when it has absorbed 1/2 of the Minimum Erythemal Dose (“MED”) of radiation for the particular skin type it was designed for.

UV Measurement:

milliWatts per
square meter
Index Value
Exposure Category
Less than 3
60 – 150
3 – 6
151 – 580
6 – 10
Very High
> 580
Greather than 10
When the UV-Index is 3 (“60 milliWatts or less”), a fair skinned person will experience minimal skin redness after one hour in the sun. When the UV-Index is 6 (“150 milliWatts or less”) , a fair skinned person will experience minimal skin redness after 24 minutes in the sun and when the UV-Index is 10, a fair skinned person will experience minimal skin redness after 6 minutes in the sun. UV-Index levels over 7, around 250 milliWatts per square meter are common and will result in a fair skinned person burning after 15 minutes in the sun.
Remember, potential long term health effects from UV radiation do not depend on skin type.

UV Radiation

The sun radiates energy over a broad spectrum of wavelengths. Ultraviolet (“UV”) radiation, which has a shorter wavelength than either visible blue or violet light, is responsible for sunburn and other adverse health effects. Fortunately for life on Earth, our atmosphere’s stratospheric ozone layer shields us from most UV radiation. What gets through the ozone layer, however, can cause the following problems, particularly for people who spend substantial time outdoors:
  • Skin cancer
  • Cataracts
  • Suppression of the immune system
  • Premature aging of the skin
Because of these serious health effects, you should limit your exposure to UV radiation and protect yourself when outdoors.

Types of UV Radiation

Scientists classify UV radiation into three types or bands—UVA, UVB, and UVC. The stratospheric ozone layer absorbs some, but not all, of these types of UV radiation:
UVA: Not absorbed by the ozone layer.
UVB: Mostly absorbed by the ozone layer, but some does reach the Earth’s surface.
UVC: Completely absorbed by the ozone layer and oxygen. UVA and UVB that reach the Earth’s surface contribute to the serious health effects listed above.

UV Levels Depend on a Number of Factors:

The level of UV radiation that reaches the Earth’s surface can vary, depending on a variety of factors. Each of the following factors can increase your risk of UV radiation overexposure and its consequent health effects.
Stratospheric Ozone: The ozone layer absorbs most of the sun’s UV rays, but the amount of absorption varies depending on the time of year and other natural phenomena. That absorption also has decreased, as the ozone layer has thinned due to the release of ozone-depleting substances that have been widely used in industry.
Time of Day: The sun is at its highest in the sky around noon. At this time, the sun’s rays have the least distance to travel through the atmosphere and UVB levels are at their highest. In the early morning and late afternoon, the sun’s rays pass through the atmosphere at an angle and their intensity is greatly reduced.
Time of Year: The sun’s angle varies with the seasons, causing the intensity of UV rays to change. UV intensity tends to be highest during the summer months.
Latitude: The sun’s rays are strongest at the equator, where the sun is most directly overhead and UV rays must travel the least distance through the atmosphere. Ozone also is naturally thinner in the tropics compared to the mid- and high-latitudes, so there is less ozone to absorb the UV radiation as it passes through the atmosphere. At higher latitudes the sun is lower in the sky, so UV rays must travel a greater distance through ozone-rich portions of the atmosphere and, in turn, expose those latitudes to less UV radiation.
Altitude: UV intensity increases with altitude because there is less atmosphere to absorb the damaging rays.  Your risk of overexposure increases as you go to higher altitudes.
Weather Conditions: Cloud cover reduces UV levels, but not completely.  Depending on the thickness of the cloud cover, it is possible to burn and increase your risk of long-term skin and eye damage.  You can burn on a cloudy summer day, even if it does not feel very warm.
Reflection: Some surfaces, such as snow, sand, grass, or water can reflect much of the UV radiation that reaches them.  Because of this reflection, UV intensity can be deceptively high even in shaded areas.


National Association of Physicians for the Environment
American Medical Association
Wilderness Medical Society
American Skin Association
American Academy of Dermatology
American Academy of Otolaryngology
American Academy of Ophthalmology
American Academy of Optometry
American Society for Head and Neck Surgery
American Optometric Association
American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons
Coalition of Patient Advocates for Skin Disease Research
Society for Investigative Dermatology
Skin Cancer Foundation
Friends of the Earth
National Medical Association
Lupus Foundation of America, Inc.
Ozone Action, Inc.
Alliance for Environmental Education
Association of University Environmental Health Sciences Centers
Prevent Blindness America
Save Our Sky
North American Association for Environmental Education
NAPE National Office for the Protection of Biodiversity (Galveston, TX)
National Association 0f County & City Health Officials (NACCHO)
Environmental Alliance for Senior Involvement (EASI)
Association of State & Territorial Health Organizations (ASTHO)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Comment Contest Winner Announced

Congrats to our comment contest winner - #432 - Brittany Armstrong from Eagle Mountain, UT who said about our sun hats: "My kids love picking out what color hat to wear each day. They are cute and practical and made of nice soft material. I love that they are adjustable for their growing heads." Brittany gets a pair of Ear Muffs Hearing Protectors for each of her kids!

Stay tuned through the blog, Facebook and newsletter for your chance to score awesome Baby Banz products just for sharing your thoughts!