Tuesday, when my car broke down (more on that later), Meg and I ended up sitting outside my office waiting for Thomas to rescue us. It was 100 degrees out. No way we were sitting in the car. But because we hadn’t intended to be outside, I hadn’t put sunscreen on her. Or brought a hat. I felt bad as she ran around in the sun. What kind of mother doesn’t bring the sunscreen and a hat “just in case”? What mother doesn’t slather her child in sunscreen every morning whether they’re going to be outside or not? As I’ve heard a million times (from my dermatologist), you get a lot of sun exposure from just being in the car and walking in and out of buildings. I myself put on Neutrogena 70 SPF on my face every day (on the recommendation of my dermatologist), and if Meg happens to be nearby, I might dab some on her as well. But not often. What kind of mother am I? Well, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a good mother. The mixed messages keep on coming…
Check out 9 surprising facts about sunscreen here.
Here is a CNN video and a summary on the subject. (I apologize if you don’t like following links. Summary: according to the EWG, likely all of the sunscreen you own is a “high health hazard” to your child and might even increase the risk of cancer. I know!)
Meg has only worn sunscreen 3 times this summer, because her mother hates the outdoors that much and NEVER takes her outside. If we do end up going out its only for a little while, so I just put a big hat on her. She has an adorable one that makes her look like a Southern Belle. I guess by not taking her outside, I’ve been saving her from the evils of sunscreen. Once again, laziness pays off!! I am pretty ticked, though, because I just bought a new bottle of sunscreen on Sunday. Its Wal-Mart brand, so I’m guessing its not on the safe list. (Its exactly like this, but generic brand). I bought the sport (i.e. waterproof), because the only time we really use sunscreen is to go swimming. The EWG recommends you “avoid” it, because it has a “high health hazard.” We haven’t used it, but when we brought it home the safety seal fell off, so I don’t know if I can return it. Why is it when I finally feel like I’m getting with the program (i.e. buying new sunscreen, since you’re not supposed to use anything that’s been open for more than a year), it suddenly turns out I’ve done the wrong thing?
We’ve been using travel-size tubes of this because you can buy it for a dollar in the travel-size section at Target, so we all got some in our stockings at Christmas from my Grandma. Its also listed on the EWG website as having a “high health hazard.” Not what you want to hear about something you’ve recently slathered on your child.
I can’t find the Neutrogena I use on my face everyday (it looks like Neutrogena might have tweaked it and are selling it under a different name. I bought it probably six months ago), but the closest I could find is also listed as a high health hazard.
I guess I’ll be going to Wal-Mart this afternoon* to try to return the new bottle and get some Johnson & Johnson Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 40, which is on the “recommend” list. But I’m only doing that because we haven’t even used it and it seems stupid to open a new bottle when it supposedly has a “high health hazard.” At least they said my primary use of a hat as sun protection for Meg is the “right” thing. For now.
*And of course, by “this afternoon” I mean hopefully I’ll get this done by State Fair time (only 27 days to go!!). After all, I’ve been meaning to buy the sunscreen since summer started, but only did it a few days ago. And until I get to the store, I'm going to keep using our travel-size Coppertone sport. I hope that doesn't make me a terrible mother!