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Safe under the sun!

Updated: Jun 19, 2019

Travelling means a lot of exposure to UV rays and that doesn't just mean bad to adults. It actually much worse for our little ones.

Children are more vulnerable to the sun than adults by a long shot. They’re also, by virtue of their still-developing systems, more vulnerable to the endocrine disruptors that make up many chemical sunscreen ingredients.

“Sun-protection measures are especially critical for kids,” says Nneka Leiba, the director of healthy living science at the Environmental Working Group. Leiba says it’s important to think about the issue in terms of modifying behavior: “It’s not just about being diligent with daily SPF but also about avoiding the midday sun, wearing protective clothing, using umbrellas on strollers.”

That said, there are sunscreens for children that are much, much better than others. Most important is a nontoxic, mineral-only formula that’s labeled as broad-spectrum. “An SPF number indicates only UVB coverage, but UVA coverage is essential,” says Leiba. Another crucial point: Never use sprays. No one should be using them, especially children, and this applies even to clean, mineral SPF formulas, says Leiba: “Titanium dioxide is safe when applied to your skin, but inhaled, it’s known to be carcinogenic. Inhaled chemical sunscreens can be even worse.”

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