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Expert answers on sun precautions for kids


In a live Facebook chat over the lunch hour, Latanya Benjamin, MD, a pediatric dermatologist at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, answered questions about sun safety for kids.

Many users asked questions about sunscreen - what kind to use, how often to put it on, whether it's sometimes OK to skip the sunscreen in favor of getting some natural Vitamin D. And there were questions about several other sun- and skin-related issues as well, such as tanning beds, skin tags and sunglasses for little ones.

Here are a few of the questions Benjamin answered:

Comment From Tom: What is the difference between regular sunblock and zinc oxide? Which is better?

Tom, sunscreens fall into one of two categories according to their active ingredients: 1) chemical sunscreens or 2) sunscreens containing physical blockers. Zinc oxide is a mineral used in physical blocker sunscreens. I tend to recommend physical blocker sunscreens containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to my patients because they're effective, safe, and well-tolerated by those with sensitive skin.

Comment From christina b: What is the best way to treat little ones with minor sunburn?

Christina, for a minor sunburn, I recommend cool compresses to soothe the skin, a bland gentle moisturizer, over-the-counter pain relievers, and, of course, sun avoidance. Prevention is key!

You can read the entire chat on Facebook, or check the Packard Children's page for answers to additional questions that were submitted during the chat. And stay tuned for future Facebook chats on other kids' health topics.

Previously: Dermatologist provides sun-safety tips during live Facebook chat
Photo by ScottieT812

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