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Sunscreen and Kids

Sunscreen & Kids

McKenzie Pediatrics 2019

Most people are aware of the risk of excessive sun exposure, but not enough parents are aware of the risk that chemical sunscreens pose to their children.

Our bodies, especially childrens’ bodies, too easily absorb the active chemicals commonly found in the more popular sunscreens. Some of these chemicals are known to be endocrine disruptors (see our separate article) and are best avoided not only in children, but also in adults!

Recently published studies involving several popular brands of sunscreen revealed that active chemical ingredients - such as avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene, and ecamsule - were quickly detectable in the bloodstream of children, even on the day of application. For three of the four chemicals, levels remained high even after 7 days. And in the case of all four, levels exceeded FDA recommended thresholds.

The best and safest sunscreens are “mineral sunscreens”, those in which zinc oxide or titanium oxide are the primary ingredient. Both provide broad spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Parents are advised to always look for sunscreens free of parabens, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances.

Suggested brands: