Safety in the garden…
While plants need the sun to produce food and energy and grow, sun can also be harmful so simple precautions should be observed at all times. These precautions include:
Protect their eyes and skin against the harmful rays of the sun.
Kids need a drink every two to three hours (more often if they’re physically active or thirsty) to prevent dehydration.
Sunscreens prevent sunburns. But many sunscreens available on the U.S. market do not filter skin-damaging rays safely and effectively. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), just 25% of all sun protection products on the market in 2013 offered strong and broad UV protection while having only a few safety concerns.
The FDA, who is charged with keeping products safe for consumers, has standards so weak that half of the sunscreens sold in America could not be sold in Europe, where comprehensive and stringent sunscreen safety protocols are in place.
So, it is important that gardeners make careful and informed decisions when selecting a product to use on kids.
For children, choose a children’s product with an SPF of 30 or higher that shields against both UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays are the ones responsible for making you turn pink or red in the sun, also known as sunburn.
UVA rays are the nasty ones responsible for getting down into the underlying layers of skin causing wrinkling, aging, and in some cases skin cancer. Sunscreens that have both UVB and UVA protection are often referred to as “broad spectrum” A sunscreen’s “sun protection factor”, or SPF, measures its ability to screen skin burning UV rays, primarily UVB rays. However, sky-high SPF numbers are not a measure of product effectiveness. Anything above SPF50 should be avoided. They are much to strong for tender young skin.
Adorable Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+
All Good Kid’s Sunscreen, SPF 33
All Terrain KidSport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
ATTITUDE Little Ones 100% Mineral Sunscreen, Fragrance Free, SPF 30
babyhampton beach*bum sunscreen, SPF 30
Badger Kids Sunscreen Cream, SPF 30
Bare Belly Organics Baby Sunscreen, SPF 30
Belly Buttons & Babies Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen SPF 30
Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen, Baby, SPF 30+
BurnOut Kids Physical Sunscreen, SPF 35
California Baby Super Sensitive Sunscreen, SPF 30+
California Baby Everyday/Year-Round™ Sunscreen
COOLA Suncare Baby Mineral Sunscreen Unscented Moisturizer, SPF 50
Goddess Garden Kids Sport Natural Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
Goddess Garden SunnyKids & SunnyBaby Natural Sunscreen
Hampton Sun Sunscreen Lotion For Baby, SPF 45
Jersey Kids Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
Kiss My Face Organics Kids Mineral Sunscreen, SPF 30
Nurture My Body Baby Organic Sunscreen, SPF 32
Substance Baby Natural Sun Care Creme, SPF 30
Sunology Natural Sunscreen, Kids, SPF 50
Sunumbra Sunkids Natural Sunscreen, SPF 40
Thinksport for Kids Sunscreen, SPF 50+
ThinkBaby (ThinkSport) SPF 50+ Sunscreen for Kids
TruKid Sunny Days Sport Sunscreen, SPF 30+
In addition to knowing the most effective sunscreen brands on the market, it’s also important to know which sunscreens to avoid. All sunscreens should be free of: Parabens Phthalates PEG’s (polyethylene glycols) Propylene Glycol Phenoxyethanol Avoid sunscreen with: SPF above 50 Retinyl palmitate Oxybenzone
A Note on Sprays and powders: Powder sunscreens often contain zinc or titanium nanoparticles. The EWG notes that, “Powdered sunscreens may also contain nanoscale and micronized zinc oxide, which can cause lung inflammation and worse.” For this reason, powdered sunscreens should be avoided. Aerosol sprays can also be breathed in by children. Aerosol vapors can also be breathed in by children and should be avoided because they may be harmful. Aerosol spray sunscreen is often marketed to kids, yet sprays pose serious inhalation risks and make it easy to miss spots of skin, leaving your child exposed to harmful rays.