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To think we're far too scared of the sun!

(253 Posts)
BedHanger Thu 09-May-13 08:59:07

A leading lecturer in dermatology at Edinburgh university has said that the benefits of sun exposure "may far outweigh the risks" after a new study has shown an hour's exposure significantly reduces blood pressure:

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-22433359

This is on top of our growing understanding of the vital role played by vitamin d in health.

AIBU to worry more about whether my DC are getting sufficient sun than about the potential risks? I don't let them burn btw, but I do make sure they have plenty of sun cream-free time whenever possible.

LaLaGabby Sat 11-May-13 02:17:02

Never mind. I agree to differ with virtually everybody.
I dont really care. It is really just a debate about words.

PariahHairy Sat 11-May-13 02:27:20

The skin cancer thing has to have a genetic element, my Mum used to be out at any sign of sun, even basting herself in butter hmm. She did die of cancer, but not the skin type.

My dc's have never burned ever, I'm not that hot with the sun screen either unless a very hot day.It's odd because I am very prone to burn as is their Dad. Must be some Mediterranean genes mixed up in there.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Sat 11-May-13 08:50:01

But Spanish people aren't talking about basting themselves in Mediterranean sun for hours but simply not covering their dc in a cocktail of chemicals from head to toe all year round.

There is no balance or common sense.

LaQueen Sat 11-May-13 09:07:27

Wilson I appreciate that. But, our friend knows our DDs, and really he was just talking about them (and his own children), really.

DD1 has my skin tone, so she's naturally fair haired/grey-eyed, but with a warm, golden skin tone that tans easily...and DD2 has inherited DH's olive skin tones, that always looks tanned, even in December.

They have never yet burned, not even slightly, and I keep them out of the sun between 11-2, and they tend to wear long sleeved, thin t-shirts even when it's warm. But, I do avoid putting sun-cream on them, when we're in the UK.

We're off to the South of France, in July - and obviously I will be much more careful, and use sun-cream then. But, I'm expecting them to spend a lot of time in the pool, and so have bought them Gul 50+ sun-proof tops, with long sleeves and high necks in place of them wearing sun-screen in the pool (where it'll just wash off, and I'll be reapplying all the time).

SpanishFly Sat 11-May-13 09:13:32

blueskies id agree totally if that's all that posters were saying, but the majority of people are saying they dont burn until they've been out for X amount of time, and how April sun is mild. I once got mildly burnt after ten mins of hanging out washing at 10am on an April morning. My point is that a lot of people are very cavalier about it all, even though the dangers SHOULD be known by now.
Of course people can decide which they'd rather risk, but they need to stop saying things like "we never wore suncream and it didn't do me any harm".
I've seen some of the worst cases of sunburn after a hot uk bank holiday - a lot of people really underestimate the strength of the British sun

SpanishFly Sat 11-May-13 09:15:47

And my dermatologist - a very well regarded expert - says no-one should be sunbathing in the direct sunlight. Ever.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Sat 11-May-13 09:27:30

I don't know anybody who sticks their kids out in the sun to sunbathe.

The fact is we do need some sun.

My inlaws slather their dc all year round in that all day cream,they never get a glimpse of sun and consequently their dc have a palid grey hue and catch every bug under the sun.

There is a balance and I agree with the op that the benefits of getting some sun needs to be taken on board.

Branleuse Sat 11-May-13 09:29:37

I hardly ever remember to put suncream unless its really hot and sunny. just doesn't occur to me much unless im on holiday

SpanishFly Sat 11-May-13 09:29:44

But you're missing my point - it's all about moderation and choice but kids don't need to be "sunbathing" to get sun damage/sunburn.

SpanishFly Sat 11-May-13 09:30:22

Sorry that reply was to Blueskies

Blueskiesandbuttercups Sat 11-May-13 09:36:36

Which is why they wear UV suits / cover up and floppy hats when on the beach or playing out in the summer months,avoid the mid day sun and keep towards the shade.

If they're out all day ditto.

However I am not slathering chemical cocktails on them all year round,every time they put a toe out of doors and the sun is shining.

Wuldric Sat 11-May-13 09:41:56

People are a little bit nuts on this topic, I think. My DCs are mixed race and therefore have more melanin and are at much lower risk so I never bothered slathering on a mix of chemicals that could do I know not what. Kids should be outside imo

SpanishFly Sat 11-May-13 09:42:41

dermatology.about.com/od/skincancers/a/vit_d_sunscreen.htm

Interesting points here. Particularly this - "
The number of new skin cancer diagnoses is rising so rapidly it's considered an epidemic. More than 1 million people will be diagnosed with a new skin cancer this year." I guarantee they're not all sunbathers and people who burn easily.

And also, I know this is unrealistic and going far too far BUT technically we dont actually need sun at all, just vitamin D in some form

SpanishFly Sat 11-May-13 09:44:22

Blueskies, I agree! And that's what I said - people should cover up!

But SOME PEOPLE on here are spouting some dangerous beliefs that are very far from being true

CoteDAzur Sat 11-May-13 09:46:49

I grew up in the Mediterranean, at a time when sun protection creams were unheard of. During the summer, I was in the sun all day every day and would get sunburn & peel once at the beginning of each summer. Later, sun protection creams came out but the highest factor was... 6. And now I live again on the Mediterranean, in a place with over 300 days of full-on sunshine per year. (I get checked from head to toe by a dermatologist every year, who takes photos of my moles & compares them with photos from previous year)

I use factor 30 face cream even in winter, but don't worry about sun cream elsewhere before May, and then if I expect to stay out in the sun, not if I'm going out for 5 minutes. DC get factor 50 spray when they start wearing tshirts & shorts. Neither have ever been burnt but they get pretty tanned by the end of summer, even with factor 50 reapplied many times over every day.

We have been to the UK a total of 4 weeks in the past 6 months and have seen the sun a grand total of 4 hours, I think. Imho, there is an unwarranted hysteria about sun exposure in the UK, where the sun is hardly ever out, and most people seem to have forgotten that the sun is actually good for us in moderation.

ExcuseTypos Sat 11-May-13 09:50:43

Spanishfly- the page you just linked to is American, I think our weather is a bit different in the uk.

ExcuseTypos Sat 11-May-13 09:55:16

Agree with you Cote.

The last fe summers have been dreadful in the UK.
If the sun's out for a few hours, we should all be outside enjoying it, without worrying about suncream.

SpanishFly Sat 11-May-13 09:58:10

But the point is the same -skin cancers are terrifyingly common now, and vitamin D doesn't need to come from the sun.

Note, I do agree that some sun exposure is good for us but the danger is how to know when we've had too much/enough

PoppyAmex Sat 11-May-13 10:01:13

I agree Spanish - really dangerous misconceptions here.

Starting with claiming there's no danger in the UK because the sun is hardly out hmm

You can (and do) suffer sun damage on a cloudy day.

Wuldric Sat 11-May-13 10:03:19

VItamin D does actually need to come from the sun. There are other sources of vitamin D, but the body doesn't process it in the same way

I agree with Cote. All this slathering on cream in the UK is a product of mass hysteria. I find it difficult even to believe that those people who have developed skin cancer in the UK have done so through normal sun exposure in the UK. My white SIL had skin cancer but then again she had a tanning machine at home and lots of sun holidays.

Branleuse Sat 11-May-13 10:05:16

I really havent noticed people dropping like flies from skun cancer around me tbh. I know people do get it but really, in the uk unless youve got incredibly sensitive skin or its really hot, then its a bit ott to slather yourself and be paranoid every time you go outside. The sun is part of life.

SpanishFly Sat 11-May-13 10:12:50

Branleuse, lucky you, not to have seen people "dropping like flies" from skin cancer. But being flippant about it is insultingto those of us who have experienced it close to home.

"The sun is part of life." Yep. But that doesn't make it automatically safe. You wouldn't stand in the middle if a road and hope nothing awful happened to you

CoteDAzur Sat 11-May-13 10:13:31

Yes, skin cancers are happening (not really "common", I wouldn't say) but they are due to accumulated damage from decades ago. Can you really say that those people were being moderate with their sun exposure? Or can it be that they only saw the sun for two weeks per year at a beach resort, where they would bake under the sun all day every day with no protection and minimal coverage? (Where I used to live, we could easily recognise the English on holiday from their bright crimson colour)

The pendulum has swung too far the other way, imho. Slow and steady sun exposure is a good thing. I don't see why you would want to put factor 50 on DC in the winter, when the sun comes out for an hour, for example.

Mumsyblouse Sat 11-May-13 10:17:19

Spanishfly I don't think there is any doubt that sun exposure causes skin cancer, the question is whether not exposing your self to the sun (and becoming Vit d deficient as it is the main source and very hard to get through diet) also causes cancer/neurological diseases.

I feel very sorry for people with skin cancer, I have known three people have patches of skin removed (all were outdoorsy people such as gardeners/sailors/walkers though which contradicts the research on it not being outdoorsy people)- and they all didn't have the more severe form. But I also know people diagnosed with MS and other forms of cancer, and wouldn't it be awful if we find out (as research is starting to suggest) that not going in the sun and being chronically Vit D deficient contributed to their diseases.

It's no longer a tan vs skin cancer debate, it's a cancer vs possible risk of other cancers debate which has only just started.

SpanishFly Sat 11-May-13 10:17:28

I'm not sure anyone has said they would cover their kids in factor 50 in the winter

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