FUN IN THE SUN: A MIDSUMMER REFRESHER – Q & A ON SUN SAFETY
By Daphne Hirsh, MD
Q: What is the best way to protect everyone from sun exposure:
A: Use a lot of sunscreen! Here are some helpful tips:
- Use SPF of 15 or more with both UVA and UVB protection
- Use at least one ounce per application and reapply every two hours, especially after swimming or sweating.
- Remember that no sunscreen is truly waterproof.
- It is best to let sunscreen dry before heading out into the sun.
- Wear protective lightweight, cotton clothing, and wide brimmed hats.
- Wear sunglasses that block greater than or equal to 98 % of UVA and UVB rays
- Use extra caution to avoid direct sunlight during the hours of 10 am and 4 pm.
Q: Can infants less than 6 months wear sunscreen?
A: Yes, but it is still best to avoid direct sunlight and dress them in lightweight clothing, using sunscreen only on exposed areas such as hands and face.
Q: Why be so proactive with regard to sunscreen?
A: “Young people who experience one or more severe, blistering sunburns have a higher risk of developing melanoma later on. (Sophie Balk, MD, AAPNews, March 2011)
Both intense, intermittent and longer exposure to lower levels of ultraviolet radiation raise one’s risk of developing all types of skin cancer.
Q: Do tanning beds offer a protective effect against damages of subsequent sun exposure (ie: pre-vacation tan)?
A: No. These beds emit high levels of UV radiation, especially UVA.
Bug Sprays During These Summer Days
Q: Do insect repellants protect against both biting insects and stinging insects?
A: No. They only provide protection from biting insects such as mosquitoes, flies, ticks, and chiggers.
Q: What type of repellant works best, chemical repellants with DEET ( N,N Diethyl 3- Methylbenzamide) or those made from essential plant oils like citronella?
A: Those with DEET offer the most protection, 3-8 hours depending on the percent DEET.
Q: How much DEET is recommended?
A: Up to 30 %
Q: Is DEET safe for all children?
A: It is safe for any child over two months of age.
Q: Do wristbands or ultrasonic devices work?
A: Evidence suggests not.
- Always read labels and follow product directions.
- Apply repellant only on outside of clothing and exposed skin.
- Apply in well ventilated areas to avoid breathing in spray.
- Wash skin with soap and water once indoors.
- Do not spray on to face directly.
- Avoid products which combine SPF and DEET.
CHOOSE MY PLATE: WHEN SUMMER GIVES YOU LEMONS . . .
By Rebecca Unger MD and Marie Vervaeke MD
Summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language. ~ Henry James
Summer offers invigorating heat, breathtaking scenery, and refreshing days in the pool and by the lake. It also offers a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables to keep family meals nutritious. The new website, Choosemyplate.gov helps plan healthy meals and snacks for the whole family. There are many suggestions for including fruits, vegetables, and other foods that your children’s growing bodies need, but their taste-buds may not always desire.
Here are some recommendations:
How many whole grains should my family eat daily?
Half of your daily grains should be WHOLE grains. Whole grains are different from processed grains because the entire grain kernel is included. Examples are whole wheat flour, bulgar (cracked wheat), oatmeal, whole cornmeal, brown rice, quinoa, and even popcorn! It has been shown that whole grains may reduce the risk of heart disease, decrease constipation, and assist in weight management.
How much of my plate should be fruits and vegetables?
One-half of your plate should be fruits and vegetables. Summer means many colorful and delicious fruits are in-season and can be found in local farmer’s markets and the grocery stores. Try keeping a bowl of fresh fruit out on the counter. This may encourage healthy snack choices as well as provide fun summer decorations. Top your favorite cereal with fresh berries or banana slices. Create refreshing summer fruit smoothies with frozen fruit, milk, and yogurt (also a good sources of calcium and vitamin D!). Offer cut-up fruit with a low-fat yogurt dip for a healthy snack. If fresh fruit is not available, buy precut, no added sugar, dried, frozen, or canned fruit. Create fun summer salads with easy to prepare, prewashed salad greens and decorate with colorful vegetables. Let your children pick out new vegetables to try (have a scavenger hunt at the grocery store!). Add vegetables to a stir-fry, vegetable pizza, pasta sauce, or kabobs on the grill at your family barbecue. Make sure you set a good example for your children by eating your fruits or vegetables.
How many dairy servings do my children need?
2-3 years old: 2 cups
4-8 years old : 2 ½ cups
Girls and Boys
9-13 years old: 3 cups
14-18 years old: 3 cups
Options to increase dairy intake: add milk to oatmeal, smoothies, serve chocolate pudding with low-fat milk, top fruit or baked potato with low-fat yogurt
How many protein servings does my child need?
2-3 years old : 2 ounce equivalents
4-8 years old : 4 ounce equivalents
9-13 years old: 5 ounce equivalents
14-18 years old: 5 ounce equivalents
9-13 years old: 5 ounce equivalents
14-18 years old: 6 ½ ounce equivalents
What options do we have if we practice a vegetarian diet?
Nutrients to focus on for vegetarians
- Protein: Sources of protein for vegetarians include beans, nuts, nut butters, peas, and soy products (tofu, tempeh, veggie burgers). Milk products and eggs are also good protein sources for lacto-ovo vegetarians.
- Iron: Iron sources for vegetarians include iron-fortified breakfast cereals, spinach, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, lentils, turnip greens, molasses, whole wheat breads, peas, and some dried fruits (dried apricots, prunes, raisins).
- Calcium: Sources of calcium for vegetarians include calcium-fortified soymilk, calcium-fortified breakfast cereals and orange juice, tofu made with calcium sulfate, and some dark-green leafy vegetables (collard greens, turnip greens, bok choy, mustard greens).
- Zinc: Sources of zinc for vegetarians include many types of beans (white beans, kidney beans, and chickpeas), zinc-fortified breakfast cereals, wheat germ, and pumpkin seeds. Milk products are a zinc source for lacto vegetarians.
- Vitamin B12: Sources of vitamin B12 for vegetarians include milk products, eggs, and foods that have been fortified with vitamin B12. These include breakfast cereals, soymilk, veggie burgers, and nutritional yeast.
Physical Activity Tips
Young children (2-5 years old) should be active every day, several times/day. The activities should be developmentally appropriate, safe and fun. Older children and adolescents should also be active every day. The physical activity does not have to be all at once but should add up to about 60 minutes each day and should include both moderate and vigorous activity (causing an increased heart rate and sweating). Activities should include muscle strengthening (climbing) and bone strengthening (jumping) several times a week. Physical activity should include free play, organized activities (team sports/activities) and lifestyle activity (walk the dog, walk to the grocery store, bike ride to school). Promoting family fitness activities (bike rides, nature walks, picnic games) are beneficial for the whole family. Do not forget the bike helmets!!
So, when summer gives you lemons, be sure to have a lemonade stand!
By Dr. Marc Weissbluth
Long summer days hanging out at the pool or BBQ are great for family fun. But we have to be careful and not overdo late bedtimes with our babies and children because they will become more and more sleep deprived.
We and our children have biological clocks and our brains automatically shift into a drowsy/sleepy state. If we occasionally stay up past this time we accumulate a sleep debt that might be repaid later with an earlier bedtime or a later wake-up time. But if we always stay up past our biological sleepy time, it is impossible to fully repay the sleep debt and the sleep debt grows and grows. This increasing sleep debt causes cumulative sleepiness so our children’s mood, performance, and behavior worsens and worsens until “all of a sudden, for no reason at all” there are major meltdowns, bedtime battles or fighting naps. The cause of this increasing levels of moodiness, whining, and tantrums, especially near the end of the day is a sleep tank that is becoming more and more empty.
New from HealthyChildren.org