Keeping kids safe in the sun doesn’t have to come at Mom’s expense

On more than one occasion I was grounded as a kid for getting a sunburn. Grounded.

Starting at a pretty early age, my parents stressed my role in not getting too much sun, including asking other adults to help me reapply it if my parents weren’t around. And they meant business.

We’d later slowly learn I was having an allergic reaction to certain sunscreens. Seriously, those blistering burns weren’t “my fault.” Regardless the true consequences of those burns wasn’t being grounded, it was skin damage, and maybe worse.

Now as a parent myself (a million months pregnant with my second,) this article  caught my eye. Wait, what?!

As I was reading the part that really resonated with me was about the women who developed skin cancer soon after pregnancy. It’s this:

The reason the risk remains high for women who've already given birth falls more to where their focus now lies — with their newborn baby. Suddenly their own health is no longer the priority, which of course makes it all the more likely that a cancerous melanoma will go unnoticed,” Ally Hirschlag, sheknows

Yep, I can totally relate. I’m so careful with protecting my daughter from the sun’s rays. But I’ve kind of shifted the focus I was putting on my own skin safety to her. That has sometimes meant painful burns for me. Not good.

When Erica and Jeremy created Pool Buoy, this is one of the challenges they were trying to take on. We as parents don’t get added protection by putting our babies in a rash guard, a hat, or even applying their carefully selected sunscreen. That’s crucial for our kiddos, but does nothing for us. Staying out of the sun is the only thing that protects us all.

 With Summer quickly approaching, and me knowing I’ll have not only a 4.5-year-old, but also a newborn in the pool, I need to think of logical ways to protect all of us. We will try to avoid the worst times of the day (hopefully we’ll have a napping baby in the afternoon,) and we’ll definitely use sunscreen on the preschooler. But life gets busy, and according to this study I’m at higher risk.

 So shade on demand will play a bigger role than ever in our sun protection routine. And I’m adding a post-pregnancy skin check to my to-do list.


-- Jenna Natho, Shade Science

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