Entries in Sun (5)


Summer Dangers in the Backyard and Beyond

Jack Hollingsworth/Photodisc/ Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- With summer officially underway, now is a good time for parents to tune in to warm weather dangers to keep their children safe this season.

In a study released Monday, researchers found that during the warmer months, on average, one child drowns every five days in a portable above-ground pool -- including those small inflatable pools filled only with a few inches of water, as well as larger portable pools that can hold as much as four feet of water.

"Because portable pools are generally small, inexpensive and easy to use, parents often do not think about the potential dangers these pools present," said Dr. Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Ohio, senior author of the study.

Keeping children safe around pools of any size means preventing access to the water by unsupervised children, as well as constant supervision when children are in and around the water, the study says.

But aside from drowning, children face many other dangers during the warm summer months.  Here's a look at some of them and what parents can do to protect their kids from harm:

SUN: Cover your children in broad spectrum sunblock before going outdoors, applying it before putting clothing on.  And remember to re-apply every two hours, and after going in water or sweating.

The FDA will begin regulating sunblock next year.  In the meantime, consumers should choose sunblock containing zinc oxide or avobenzone, according to Dr. Ari Brown, a pediatrician based in Austin, Texas, and co-author of Baby 411 and Toddler 411 guides.

Heat stroke is another danger on hot and humid days, particularly in the beginning of summer, before the body has had a chance to adapt to the warmer climes.  Make sure children are properly hydrated if they're playing outdoors.  It also may be prudent to look for indoor fun or shade play for your children during the hottest time of day, doctors say.

WHEELS: Many families pull bikes and scooters out of the garage when the mercury heats up, but whatever time of year, helmets are essential to saving lives.  Smith recommends parents make sure the helmets they purchase have the Consumer Product Safety Commission seal.

Helmets should sit level on the head, above the eyebrow line and straps need to be secure, said Andrea Gielen, Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy.

WEATHER: Lightning claims the lives about 300 people in the United States annually.  If a lightning storm is coming, head indoors.  Do not stay in an open space, like a football field or a golf course, where you would be the tallest object, Smith cautions.  Common wisdom still holds: Do not stand under a tree during a lighting storm.

PLAY: Prevent injuries with supervising children at the playground and by making sure the surface of the playground where your child plays can absorb impact during falls.

BUGS: During evenings and cooler times of day when mosquitoes are likely to bite, cover skin with a bug repellent that includes DEET, experts say.

For those uncomfortable using the chemical, Brown recommends looking for products that contain picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus, which is approved for use in children ages 3 and up.  All three options repel not only mosquitoes, but ticks too.  She also suggests using a mosquito net over a baby stroller.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


FDA Adds Stricter Labels to Sunscreen

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- New sunscreen labels will include a rating system to show how well the product protects users against Ultraviolet A (UVA) light, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday.

The agency's latest regulation recommends that sunscreen labeling be expanded to provide a four-star rating system that informs consumers how well the product protects them against UVA light.

Sunscreen labels are already required to carry a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) level that informs users how well the product protects against UVB light, which primarily causes sunburn.  Enhanced labeling will focus on UVA light, which is potentially more damaging because it penetrates the skin further than UVB and causes the skin to tan.

Both kinds of UV light contribute to skin damage, including premature skin aging and skin cancer.

The agency is also looking to change the maximum sunburn protection level from its recommended SPF 30 to SPF 50.

The new UVA star rating will be displayed next to the SPF ratings.  One star will mean low UVA protection, while four stars ensure the highest level of protection.

The label will also include ways that people can protect themselves from sun overexposure, such as limiting time in the sun and wearing protective clothing. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


'Consumer Reports' Releases Its Top Picks for Sunscreen

Comstock/Thinkstock(YONKERS, N.Y.) -- Just in time for the start of the beachgoing season this Memorial Day weekend, Consumer Reports released its top picks for sunscreens Tuesday.

After testing 22 sprays, creams, and lotions, the magazine identified nine sunscreens that offered "Excellent" protection from sunburn-causing UVB rays and "Very Good" protection from UVA rays, which cause the skin to tan and age.  Three were designated "Best Buys:" Target's Up & Up Sport SPF 30, No-Ad with Aloe and Vitamin E SPF 45, and Equate Baby SPF 50.

Out of the top three picks, one -- Target's Up & Up Sport SPF 30 -- is a spray.  In fact, Jamie Hersh, a senior editor for Consumer Reports, says "a lot of our top rated ones this time around are sprays."

Hersh says that while sprays aren't necessarily better than lotions, they're just as good.

"The important thing with the spray is making sure that you apply it properly and that you get enough of it on," he says.

He also advises consumers to watch out for a key ingredient: Retinyl palmitate.  Hersh says "it is an antioxidant and animal studies have actually linked it to an increased risk of skin cancer."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Updated Guidelines for Sun Protection In Children

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(ELK GROVE VILLIAGE, Ill.) -- Though many parts of the country continue to deal with bitter cold, the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued an updated policy statement on skin cancer prevention and safe sun exposure practices in children.

The recommendations include wearing protective clothing, timing children's outdoor activity to minimize sun exposure between 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. when possible, applying sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 15, and wearing sunglasses. Infants younger than six months of age should be kept out of direct sunlight all together, the Academy says.

Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization note their support for legislation that would ban the use of artificial tanning devices by individuals under the age of 18. Some tanning units produce ultraviolet radiation so strong that they can at times reach strengths 10 to 15 times higher than peak midday sun.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Pollution Doubles Skin Damage from Sun

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(SKILLMAN, N.J.) - A new study shows that skin damage from the sun is made worse by exposure to pollution, reports WebMD.

According to researchers from Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, pollution found in urban environments can double skin damage caused by sun exposure.

"The AAD already advises people to use extra sun protection near water, snow, and sand as they reflect the damaging rays of the sun that can increase your chance of sunburn," said Darrell Rigel, former AAD president and clinical professor of dermatology at New York University Medical Center in New York City. "It could be that people who live in polluted areas also need extra sun protection, though that remains to be tested."

Lab tests showed that skin damaged by UV radiation showed additional signs of premature aging when exposed to additional stressors such as cigarette smoke, high heat, low temperatures, high winds and ozone.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio