1

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Sun exposure for infants

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 07, 2011 at 11:42 AM

A new study on sun exposure for infants is described in the following CNN article: http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/06/06/sun.exposure.babies/

In fact, sun-related skin changes that occur as early as the first year of life may trigger a cascade of reactions that could lead to melanoma and other forms of skin cancer later in life, according to a new review in the July issue of Pediatrics.

The study was authored by Johnson and Johnson employees by the way.

One study cited in the review has projected that 1 in 33 babies born today will develop melanoma during their lives, versus 1 in 1,500 babies born in 1935.

And this is because infants in 1935 got less sun?

The American Academy of Pediatrics, which publishes Pediatrics, advises parents to keep children 6 months or younger out of the sun completely.

Are you serious? :(

Infants need to be protected even from incidental sun exposure, Tamburro says. "It's not only about 'I'm going to the beach now or [getting] in the sun,'" she says. "It's even a car ride or walking to the store. It's the recreational exposure also."

I'm dumbfounded. Is there any validity to this? Am I to believe that our ancestors avoided walks in the sun while rearing children?

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on June 08, 2011
at 04:23 AM

We keep it pretty mellow at my house. I'm still nursing him too. Babies' natural circadian rhythms have them sleeping from around 11am-3pm (not that whole 4 hours but 1-3 hours within that time span) so I think nature knows it's not a good time for babies to be out and about. My son always sleep from about noon till 2 like clockwork.

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on June 08, 2011
at 04:20 AM

good to hear it works from someone else with experience. I'm just playin' it by ear.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 08, 2011
at 01:51 AM

I've been doing the same thing for years with my 5 boys.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on June 07, 2011
at 07:05 PM

And really, should anyone take advice from Health.com? Pretty much just as bad as WebMD...

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on June 07, 2011
at 07:03 PM

Many people say (anecdotally) that the sun seems stronger these days, perhaps due to ozone depletion. But I wonder how much is an excess of omega 6 contibuting? I noticed (and many others have as well) that reducing n6 and getting n3:n6 in better balance has increased my tolerance for the sun considerably.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on June 07, 2011
at 06:59 PM

That sounds very sensible.

8b982d4beccca9fcb85affe8d4bd4ff2

(1585)

on June 07, 2011
at 01:38 PM

I agree! The thing that has changed is the exposure to toxins. I'm willing to bet paleo children run a lesser risk.

E91fd339d760ed76cc72570a679ebf5a

(2369)

on June 07, 2011
at 12:26 PM

I've wondered this too. My instinct tells me to avoid slathering my future infants with sunscreen or covering them up with hats and umbrellas, but does that mean they will get sunburn? What do other paleo parents do?

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7 Answers

best answer

2
1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

on June 07, 2011
at 01:43 PM

I don't put sunscreen on my 6 month old son. I supplement with vitamin d3 both through my breast milk and Carlson baby drops and I try not to take him on walks around noon. I wait till it's more like 2pm or early, around 10am. he's very fair like me and hasn't been burnt yet. Knock on wood and we walk every day. I hope I'm not doing damage but I'm much more paranoid about all those sunscreen chemicals. I actually get a chemical burn (inflamed, scaly skin) if I use chemical sun blocks. I can only use the zinc ones so I'm not taking chances on him having a reaction.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on June 07, 2011
at 06:59 PM

That sounds very sensible.

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on June 08, 2011
at 04:20 AM

good to hear it works from someone else with experience. I'm just playin' it by ear.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 08, 2011
at 01:51 AM

I've been doing the same thing for years with my 5 boys.

2
A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on June 07, 2011
at 12:34 PM

Well, you don't want to be Nerdlinger McStupid and let your baby get sunburned.

I speculate that those on SAD diets, including babies breast feeding from moms on SAD diets or on formula are going to burn more easily than a paleo baby.

This study is a review of other studies (and the article didn't link to it, so I didn't check it out past the article). Clearly some of the studies cited are epidemiological and somewaht useless. I would speculate that increased skin cancer rates are due to increased toxic food and other toxic chemical exposure and possibly increased sunscreen use and lack of regular sun-exposure (again, not to the point of burning or turning pink).

More speculation: A few minutes of careful sun exposure should be healthy and natural, but I wouldn't assume that no damage can occur.

PS. Read the comments to the article. Funny, and most are not buying into the article.

8b982d4beccca9fcb85affe8d4bd4ff2

(1585)

on June 07, 2011
at 01:38 PM

I agree! The thing that has changed is the exposure to toxins. I'm willing to bet paleo children run a lesser risk.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on June 07, 2011
at 07:05 PM

And really, should anyone take advice from Health.com? Pretty much just as bad as WebMD...

1
Fe33d1321dad116f6fedd60266d0498b

on June 08, 2011
at 04:05 AM

There is more UV nowadays, in part due to the ozone depletion. So the answer to "And this is because infants in 1935 got less sun?" is... yes.

However, I also doubt that a six-month old would have been traipsing to the mall with mom at midday in bajillion degree weather back in paleo times- more likely still taking it slow and easy (just six months after childbirth, still breastfeeding more than likely- you're going to be pooped!), having the sense not to go out at midday anyway, and probably paying more attention to baby and not letting it get burned. The daily routine is different now. The experience of childbirth and the first year are way different now. Comparing babies nowadays to babies from 1935 is going to be very difficult on any level.

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on June 08, 2011
at 04:23 AM

We keep it pretty mellow at my house. I'm still nursing him too. Babies' natural circadian rhythms have them sleeping from around 11am-3pm (not that whole 4 hours but 1-3 hours within that time span) so I think nature knows it's not a good time for babies to be out and about. My son always sleep from about noon till 2 like clockwork.

1
1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on June 07, 2011
at 01:56 PM

Someone told me that the sun's rays have become more harmful, even since we were kids. While I'm not saying I buy it, the ease of which I burned compared to my childhood, I can't completely disregard it.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on June 07, 2011
at 07:03 PM

Many people say (anecdotally) that the sun seems stronger these days, perhaps due to ozone depletion. But I wonder how much is an excess of omega 6 contibuting? I noticed (and many others have as well) that reducing n6 and getting n3:n6 in better balance has increased my tolerance for the sun considerably.

1
C1c86f42410cd4788bd9c5cf801dcd8f

(2246)

on June 07, 2011
at 01:19 PM

The book the Vitamin D solution was very informative on the whole vitamin D/Sun.

One of the things I found very interesting is he stated that while getting sun burnt increases your chance of melanoma, (which is very easily treated) getting proper levels of vitamin D reduces your risk of a lot of other cancers which are not easily treatable.

It was a very interesting book on sun exposure and I highly recommend it.

0
06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on June 07, 2011
at 01:27 PM

The immunity to viruses and bacteria in infants as well adults is assisted by supplementation with Vit D3. Kids less..1000IU per day gel caps with the carrier of olive oil..Now Brand.... and adults 5000IU per day. The Quilt wants his patients to have serum Vit D3 levels 70 to 100ng/ml.

0
637042e24e38a81dfc089ef55bed9d46

(826)

on June 07, 2011
at 01:17 PM

I agree with Dave S. and would add that yes, some damage may occur with careful sun exposure but isn't that why we have an immune system? Eating creates free radicals...should we stop doing that too?

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