Summer is a great time for kids -- long, sunny days filled with swimming, bicycling, hiking, family vacations, and warm nights around the campfire. Of course, along with the good times come the inevitable sunburns and insect bites, for which solutions abound.

However, those same solutions present a different problem: toxic chemicals that are potentially more harmful than the sunburns or the bites they're guarding against. Shielding lotion, a new breakthrough in skin care technology can help protect your child from those chemicals, but it's a good idea to know why they are dangerous and what alternatives are available.

Sunscreen: The sun is necessary for good health. It enables production of Vitamin D, a potent cancer fighter, and regulates the pineal, pituitary and hypothalamus glands. However, too much sun causes sunburns and long-term exposure can lead to cancer. So, we guard against excessive exposure with sunscreens that contain as many as five chemicals proven to stimulate tumor growth and the spread of cancer cells. Which is worse, the sun or the sunscreen?

Unfortunately, no long term studies have provided the answer to that question and, until they do, we have to find less dangerous solutions. What are they? First, less toxic sunscreens -- available online and in health food stores. Second, a shielding lotion applied under the sunscreen. Initially formulated as skin care for chemists exposed to damaging and hazardous materials, a shielding lotion bonds with the outer layer of the skin to form a protective layer that helps prevent the absorption of chemicals.

Chlorine: Originally added to our water supply over 100 years ago to fight cholera and typhoid, chlorine is a highly toxic chemical. It strips the skin of its protective layer, causing itchy, dry skin and possibly leading to eczema. It also damages the lungs. One study revealed that over one quarter of swim-team members suffer from asthma due to chlorine inhalation. After-swim showers to remove chlorine actually compound the problem as we usually shower in chlorinated water.

What can you do about it? First, reduce exposure by using filters at home -- for both the shower and drinking water. Second, replace your pool chlorine with a natural disinfectant. Third, use a shielding lotion as protective skin care treatment for chlorine exposure that cannot be avoided.

Insect repellants: There's nothing more uncomfortable than insect bites. However, what's deadly to insects is also toxic to you and your children. Most insect repellants contain N-diethyl-meta-toluamide, commonly known as DEET. Although approved by the Environmental Protection Agency for use on skin, it comes with so many usage warnings that it is clearly unsafe for children. What's the solution? Natural insect repellants, available online and in health food stores, and shielding lotion for skin care treatment that helps prevent absorption of chemicals.

The best summers are carefree, relaxing and fun. The last thing you want to think about is toxic chemicals. Shielding lotion will help your children really enjoy their summer, and protect them from dangerous toxins that could affect their health for the rest of their lives.

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