Kids need vitamin D
Parents are often quick to lather their kids in sunscreen to help protect them from the sun’s harmful rays. But before you apply, you might want to consider the important health benefits the sun provides for your child.
Hold off on the sunscreen!
These tips will help you choose the best place and time to give your child some of that necessary vitamin D.
The sun and the essential vitamin D
“Dense cloud covers and high levels of air pollution can reduce the ultraviolet rays reaching the skin.” — HealthyChildren.org
Natural sunlight exposure in small amounts can be healthy for kids. Ours bodies naturally produce essential amounts of vitamin D when exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. But the American Academy of Pediatrics warns parents that some kids are not getting enough daily sunlight — especially children living in regions with extreme seasons or dense cloud cover. Therefore it’s especially important to balance your child’s sunlight exposure and use of sunscreen if you live in these areas.
Protecting your child’s skin in more ways than one
The AAP recommends talking to your pediatrician about finding a balance between sunscreen use and brief periods of sun exposure.
Don’t toss the sunscreen just yet! Sunscreen and smart sun coverage should still be used to protect your child from skin cancer later in life, but sunscreen can and does interfere with the positive effects from sunlight.
Sun exposure tips for kids
These tips can help maximize your child's health and provide adequate sun protection.
Where else do kids get vitamin D?
In addition to the production of vitamin D through the skin, the following foods are also good sources of vitamin D: eggs, butter, herring and salmon — but do not provide adequate amount for the daily recommended dose.
Source: AAP’s HealthyChildren.org
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