Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sunscreen Leads To Vitamin D Deficiency In Children and Puts Them At Risk Of Disease.

Researchers have found that Vitamin D deficiency in children is more widespread than expected and puts them at increased risk for disease. "We expected the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency would be high, but the magnitude of the problem nationwide was shocking," says lead author Juhi Kumar, M.D., M.P.H., a fellow in pediatrics at Children's Hospital at Montefiore Medical Center, The University Hospital and Academic Medical Center for Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Based on their results, that magnitude equates to 7.6 million children having a deficiency in necessary Vitamin D. This increases their risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, bone diseases and even cancer.(1)

The main source of Vitamin D for children is sunshine and they don't get enough of it. In addition, the FDA guidelines for sunscreen were established in 1978 and haven't been updated as our knowledge of UV rays, Vitamin D, and diseases have. It is time to update the permanent sunscreen safety guidelines. A good rule of thumb, 10 minutes of sun on exposed sun, then put the sunscreen on. That way they get the benefits while minimizing the risks. Read More about this story in detail - Environmental Working Group

Source: Environmental Working Group
Reference: Vitamin D Council(1)
Image: Hallgerd - Fotolia.com


kate said...

I'm laughing (not that I should this is a serious issue) because when my daughter turned 6 months I asked her doctor if it was OK to use sunscreen. She said yes, but don't overdo it since kids are often Vitamin D deficient now....I laughed knowing that my kid would be outside more than she is in. She's tanner than my husband!

But, we're an outdoor family, I see friends of mine slather on that sunscreen even for a 2 minute walk to the car....ridiculous.

TC said...

I know Kate. So many parents are overly obsessed and don't realize that they are actually doing more harm to their children. More of them should get their kids outside anyway and away from the video games & tv.

Mik said...

This is interesting, I slathered the kids with sun block before we went out.

But when they ask grandpa for hot tea they always get Vitamin D milk in it.

But guess have to allow them to get some sun but not overdo it.

Jason Saunders said...

Are there studies done about how much vitamin d and UV rays we receive on certain times during the day? It just seems to me that its less hot and probably less UV rays during early mornings than at later times during the day. If so, then we are better off allowing our kids to play outside early in the morning.

TC said...

Yes, there are studies that have been done. The suggestion is to get the rays between 10-3pm. Best to limit exposure during strong sun times 11-2 and if so keep it shorter. It probably would be better to have the kids running around outside in the morning or late after noon but don't let that deter you from getting the kids outside. Just use your head.