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New Sunscreen Labeling Requirements

New Sunscreen LabelingThis June new sunscreen labeling will go into effect. Choosing a sunscreen for your child should be much easier. Here are some rules to follow:

  • Make sure the bottle says “Broad spectrum”, which means that it protects against sunburn, cancer, and premature aging. In the past, any sunscreen could say this but the new rules require products to go through stringent testing in order to qualify.
  • While the FDA recommends using an SPF of 15 or higher, why not look for an SPF of 50+, which is the highest SPF now available. Since the FDA doesn’t have enough data to show that SPF’s higher than 50 provide any added protection, you’ll no longer see those labels reading “SPF 100”.
  • Look for the term “water-resistant” for 40 or 80 minutes, which means that they will retain their stated SPF while swimming or sweating for that amount of time. You will no longer see the terms “waterproof” or “sweat proof” on sunscreen labels. Remember to reapply as needed.

If despite your efforts, your child does end up with a burn, applying aloe will help to soothe and minimize peeling. A wet cloth will provide temporary relief. A scary fact, though: If your child gets just one sunburn during his lifetime his chance of getting melanoma later will double. So lather ’em up and don’t forget other protective gear like hats and sunglasses (if your little one will keep them on!).

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