Do you know what kind of sunscreen to use on your kids' tender skin? Dermatologist and author Dr. Doris Day explains the best ways to protect children from the sun's damaging rays, and tells you what to do in case your child gets a severe sunburn.
CYNTHIA: Hi, I’m Cynthia Guava for howdini.com. If you’re a mom you’ve probably spent part of every summer chasing after your kids with sunscreen. But are you really protecting their sensitive skin from the sun’s damaging rays? Dr. Doris Day is a dermatologist and author, and she is here to help us all be smarter about the sun. Dr. Day thank you for being here with us, what are the two biggest and most common mistakes parents make when trying to protect their kids from getting a sunburn?
DR. DAY: Well the two main things, they count too much on sunscreen alone to protect their children’s sensitive skin. And two is that they don’t apply the sunscreen enough.
CYNTHIA: What is the SPF number you recommend that they use?
DR. DAY: For children, and actually adults as well, I recommend a SPF of thirty or higher. It takes about a shot glass amount to cover the entire body. That’s for an adult, for a child you probably need a little less, but that’s a good gauge to go by. And also, when you look at the sunscreen look for both UVA and UVB protection, and hat means that you are protecting against all the damaging rays of the sun. There are new sunscreens out now that also photostablize, that means they have a little extra protection. These are ingredients like Helioplex and Neutrogena products, Mexeril and the Anteleose la Roche per say, or Avotryplex in Banana Boat.
CYNTHIA: You’ve just mentioned a couple of names there; can you just explain what they mean and what they really do?
DR. DAY: What these ingredients do, they are all very similar. What they do is stabilize the UVA and UVB protection, to make it a little bit stronger, and make it last a little bit longer. So you still need to reapply it regularly. But with these ingredients you know that your getting a broad spectrum, longer lasting protection, so it adds just a little bit more to what your using.
CYNTHIA: Are young kids more susceptible to getting sunburned then teens or adults?
DR. DAY: Younger skin is more susceptible to the sunburn; also they’re more susceptible to the damage of the sun. So there skin is still developing and growing, and also what called the body surface to volume ratio is very different then in an adult. So if they have a severe sunburn the symptoms and consequences can be much more severe then it would be for an adult. If you have a child who is sunburned, and you see that they have a change in their mental status, if they’re more groggy, or they have fevers or chills, if they’re vomiting or not quite themselves, they’re not eating well, that’s a much more serious condition. That might be a sign of sun poisoning, and should be addressed right away by going to the emergency room, or calling your doctor for further advice.
CYNTHIA: If kids get a tan but don’t burn, is that still ok for their skin?
DR. DAY: A tan is a sign of sun damage. So in order to create a tan your skin has to be damaged, and that stimulates those pigment-forming cells called malignancies, to make more pigment to protect the skin cells. So in order to tan, you’re damaging the skin. Tanning in not a good idea, and it should be avoided if possible.
CYNTHIA: I see that you have several products here, tell us about them?
DR. DAY: So there are lots of sunscreens that are packaged for children, a lot of times they contain ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. They are a little more opaque, they are thicker and you can see them a little more on the skin. And these are nice because they don’t actually penetrate the skin, they just create a protective physical coating, and helps protect against the sun damage. Others contain specific UVA and UVB protection, and the FDA is coming out with some rulings to change the labeling so you can’t say waterproof anymore. In the future they are going to change that, it can say extremely water resistant, but not waterproof.
CYNTHIA: Dr. Day thank you for that helpful information. I’m Cynthia Guava for howdini.com
Howdini is life’s little instruction manual, in HD. We’re all about bringing together the top, most respected experts in their fields to help us be the best we can be at all of the little and not-so-little challenges of our complicated lives. Howdini is the place to be for the know-how you want, when you need it. Or maybe it’s the know-how you need, when you want it. Whatever. We’re here to help. So come in and look around, won’t you?
We think you’ll love finding everything you want to learn about in one convenient place, and as we grow and add more categories and more Howdinis, you’ll be doing less surfing and more learning right here. And unlike television, Howdinis aren’t limited by time—we don’t have to break for commercials, and we’re always on.
Who is Howdini?
People often ask us, is there an actual person who is Howdini? And the answer is, it’s kind of like Lassie. Just as there were many Lassies, there are many individuals who are called Howdini. In fact, each of our experts is a Howdini, and, like all those Lassies, they really know their tricks. (Although so far there is no ‘How to tell your master that Timmy is trapped in the old abandoned mine’ segment)
Our gurus are people you know and trust because you’ve been getting advice from them for years, at places like Good Morning America, The Today Show, Money, Prevention, and Food and Wine (to name just a few). Many are best-selling authors. Others, like our medical experts, are respected leaders in their fields.
The first Howdini was Joanna Breen, who left a comfortable career at ABC’s 20/20 to create a how to video website after one too many frustrating experiences with handymen who weren’t that handy. Joanna had traveled the world reporting with Barbara Walters and others on injustice, outrage, and tragedy, but now it was time to turn her talents to dealing with crises closer to home, like what do you do if you drop your diamond ring down the drain. Joanna is the quintessential can-do girl, so she didn’t find the prospect of launching a gigantic website the least bit daunting. (Ok, that last part isn’t entirely true.)
Joanna convinced an old ABC News buddy, Shelley Lewis, to join her. Shelley had supervised roughly 9.7 million helpful how to segments during a long career executive producing television shows like Good Morning America and CNN’s American Morning. A self-described “info-pig” who loves all kinds of information programming, she is never happier than when she’s learning an amazing new tip that she can annoy share with everyone she knows. Needless to say, Howdini was a dream gig for her. A career woman, a wife, a mother, and author of two books, Shelley considers herself equally challenged by all the facets of her life.
Joanna and Shelley were introduced to marketing executive Alison Provost by a mutual friend who knew that Alison had what they needed - entrepreneurial experience, patience, and a checkbook that still had checks in it. Joanna and Shelley could see right away that Alison should join Howdini. They figured that they would take care of the programming, and Alison would bring trustworthy sponsors to help pay the bills. It took Alison significantly longer to be convinced, maybe because she was crazy busy running a marketing firm called PowerPact, which she continues to oversee while serving as the biggest of big cheeses at Howdini. But whether it’s playing Suduko or launching a new business in a field she knows little about, Alison loves the challenge of a good puzzle, It wasn’t long before she began dropping obscure internet terms like “user-interface” and “googlebot” into casual conversation.
What’s Next for Howdini?
Our goals are modest. Complete and total domination of the internet, crushing Google, Microsoft, and any other punks who get in our way. (Hey, it’s a just a goal.) But until then, we will content ourselves making the best, most professional, most credible how to videos you can find anywhere. We want to help you solve your career issues, your parenting problems, your money troubles. We want you to be more glamorous, healthier, and less stressed out. We want you to check Howdini every day for fun, interesting, useful advice from experts you know and trust.
We want to make Howdini the community you love to be part of every day, To do that, we need to hear from you. Please share your suggestions, rate and comment on the Howdini videos, and the blog, (The Howdini blog). Tell us what you’d like us to create for you.
And then, when we’ve achieved that, it’s back to working on complete and total domination of the internet.