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Health Happy Round-Up: Safe Fun in the Sun

Health Happy Round-Up

Health Happy Round-Up

Welcome to a new series on Traveling with Baby, Health Happy Round-Up which focuses on multiple aspects of wholesome living and optimal health for the entire family.  Each weekend, Traveling with Baby will share some insightful news, recipes, and tips to help you consider fresh new perspectives on wholesome and happy health.  If there’s a topic or recipe you’d like featured on Health Happy Round-Up, let me know!  [drgarnecki at gmail dot com].


Summer is here, and we are so excited to spend family time having fun outdoors. My favorite outdoor activities include hiking along all the beautiful nature trails in and around Charlottesville, swimming at the local pools, and running outside with Calvin in the jogging stroller.

Sunscreen Doesn’t Prevent Skin Cancer

I’ve never been a big fan of sunscreen.  It’s such a bother to apply to my skin, and when applied to the face and coupled with sweat or water, it would cause my eyes to burn and sting (I knew that couldn’t be good for my eyes).  As I grew more conscientious about the synthetic chemicals and toxins used in sunscreen (courtesy of the cosmetics database), I decided to veer away from almost all sunscreens completely.

Often the ingredients that are supposed to filter or block out UV rays are the most toxic, such as oxybenzone which is readily soaked up by the skin.  Other ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide act as physical barriers and reflect UV rays; these may not absorb as easily as oxybenzone, however titanium dioxide is a cancer-causing agent and zinc oxide is linked to organ dysfunction.  These are definitely chemicals I do not want on my skin or my baby’s skin.

More importantly, sunscreens tend block out UVB rays, and they are typically ineffective at blocking UVA rays which lead to melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer (The Observer, 28 Sep 03).  Skin cancer prevalence in the United States has tripled in recent years to 54,000 cases annually, and it’s particularly prevalent among Americans of African American descent.  All types of cancers combined cause  the deaths of half a million people in the U.S. annually.

Sunscreen Prevents Good Health

When applied to the skin, suncreens block the body’s ability to make vitamin D by more than 95 percent.  Vitamin D is essential for the body’s ability to produce and regulate calcium, and it’s protective against cancer.  A relatively weak sunscreen, such as SPF-8 will block UVB rays and stop vitamin D production.

According to the Vitamin D Council,

[There are numerous health benefits of vitamin D in preventing] illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, autoimmune illness, at least 13 different cancers and, perhaps, some mental illness.

Vitamin D researcher, William Grant, estimates that Vitamin D deficiency causes 100,000 people to develop cancer each year who wouldn’t have had it if they were able to obtain adequate levels (1ooo I.U. of vitamin D per day) through 15 minutes of sun exposure or ingesting it through nutritional supplements.

Avoiding Sunscreen – Avoiding Sunburn: the Solution

The best way to obtain necessary levels of Vitamin D daily is through gradual exposure, up to 15 minutes per day.  The best way to obtain safe and gradual exposure to the sun is through protective clothing.

UV Skinz logoUV Skinz was launched in 2005 after the founder, Rhonda Sparks, lost her 32-year-old husband to melanoma.  Her commitment to her company and raising awareness about the potential dangers of the sun is remarkable.  The UV Skinz mission is to “Get Kids Covered!” so that all children are free to play safely under the sun.  I love that they offer free shipping on any orders over $50!

UV Skinz at softball gameUV Skinz recently sent me the Jesse long-sleeved UV shirt and the navy/blue reversible bucket hat for review.  I’d much rather put protective shirts, shorts, and a hat on my son than wrestle with him to apply toxic sunscreen numerous times throughout the day.  Even the sunscreens that are based from plant oils wash off in water and need re-application regularly.  These iparenting media award winning shirts allow for the majority of his body to be covered, so we can both enjoy the outdoors without fear of sunburn.

Size 2 shirt fits my son well.  He’s currently wearing clothes in 2T and 24 mos.  The sleeves were a little long, but I just rolled them up.  It will fit him all summer long, and the style is perfect for boy or girl, so I know I can use it again in the future whenever our nest begins to grow.

There’s a place inside the shirt where you can write your child’s name with a laundry-safe pen for identification.  The wide collar makes the shirt every asy to slip on over a child’s head.  The fabric is comfortable and quick drying (nice for my ease of maintenance) so it’ll be ready to go for back to back water adventures.

Each shirt also comes with a fun silicone bracelet (sized appropriately with the shirt).  Calvin has fun playing with his since it glows in the dark.  Fun in the sun and once the sun goes down!

All shirts carry the 50+ UPF.  These Skinz are a great way to slowly build up your sun exposure for maximum Vitamin D production without subjecting yourself to the harmful cancer-causing rays.

Baby Skinz are available in sizes 6-12 mos, and 12-24 mos.  Kids sizes run from size 2 to 14 (some styles up to 16), women’s sizes S – XL (4XL in some styles), and men’s sizes S – 2XL (4XL in some styles).  UV Skinz shirts vary in price from $32.95 to $36.95.

Over Memorial Day weekend, Calvin spent a long afternoon wearing his Skinz and hat at his cousin’s softball game.  I saw people slathering on sunscreen and walking around with sunburned noses, but I wasn’t worried about my son’s excessive exposure to the sun.  Not only was he covered, he looked absolutely stinkin’ adorable (as overheard in comments from all the parents who were watching the game).UVSkinz 2For the Memorial Day parade, he sported his reversible bucket hat in the middle of the very warm and sunny day.

IMG_5731Looks like Uncle Kevin could use a bucket hat, too.

The reversible bucket hats (retail value $15.95), also UPF 50+, come in 3 styles: navy/blue, light/hot pink, and blue/purple.  The brim is wide enough to protect little noses, ears, and necks from sunburn.  My son loves his hat!  We use it almost all the time he’s outdoors.  I’d love it if it came with a drawstring to keep it secure on a breezy day.

I can’t wait to get Calvin re-oriented in the pool this summer.  If you swing by one of the city pools in Charlottesville, please wave hello to us.  Calvin will be wearing his Jesse shirt, dog paddling, drinking in half the pool, and laughing from the contagious fun.

Save Your Skin AND Your Wallet

To commemorate the birthday of Rhonda’s late husband Darren, all on-line purchases are discounted 15% the entire month of June with coupon code 09SUMMER15 (offer expires July 1, 2009).


prizeypickUV Skinz is offering one lovely winner any single item of choice on the UV Skinz site (retail value $46).  Oh yes,  you can have whatever item you want! Check out their aloha sets, women’s shirts and men’s shirts which are perfect for Father’s Day (June 21st).   The winner will be randomly selected via random.org. You’ll have up to 7 opportunities to win.  How ’bout those odds?

1. To enter, first leave a comment  on this post about your fave item on UV Skinz, and something you learned from this week’s Health Happy Round-Up.


2. Earn a second entry by blogging about the giveaway and linking to Traveling with Baby and UV Skinz using “UV Skinz giveaway” as the title in your blog’s post.  Then, leave a comment with a link to your post.

3. Earn a third entry by subscribing to UV Skinz e-mail newsletter.  Leave a comment that you’re subscribed to the newsletter.

4. Earn a fourth entry by subscribing to UV Skinz blog RSS feed and Traveling with Baby’s RSS feed.  Leave a comment that you’re subscribed to both feeds.

5. Earn a fifth entry by following me (drdolly) and UV Skinz on twitter and tweeting this contest with the following “RT @drdolly @uvskinz play safely in the sun – UV Skinz giveaway on http://tiny.cc./IEv8w”  Leave a comment with the weblink to your tweet.

6. Gain a 6th entry by adding the UV Skinz blog button to your website/blog.  The link code is visible in the right sidebar.

7. Earn your 7th entry by adding Traveling with Baby’s button to your website/blog.

Leave a valid e-mail address, so I can contact you to claim your prize, or it’ll go to another amazing person.  The contest is open to U.S. shipping addresses only.

This contest runs until 11:59PM (EST) on June 19th, 2009.  Just in time for Father’s Day.

One winner will be randomly selected (via random.org) and announced on this post and e-mailed sometime shortly after May 19th. If a winner doesn’t respond within 72 hours, a new winner will be selected.


The winner is Dr. Heather Prenger with her extra entry for subscribing to TWB feed.  Congrats!

By Dr. Dolly

40 Responses

  1. I like the long sleeve cameron, hopefully the white sleeves would help little tykes stay cool. I learned that sunscreen companies make many claims that may not be true, not to trust what the bottle says without doing your research.

  2. I tried to subscribe – think it worked – can’t believe i hadn’t done that yet


  3. I blogged http://momgoinggreen.wordpress.com/2009/06/06/uv-skinz-giveaway/

    and forgot on my last comment that I also subscribed to uv skinz


  4. i subscribed to the uvskinz newsletter


  5. I have your button on my blog!


  6. I’m following you and UV Skins on Twitter and I tweeted!


  7. I think that the Stroller Shade would be perfect. I love our stroller, but I’m always worried about the lack of shade it provides!


  8. I like the green aloha collection for girls best.
    I learned that “When applied to the skin, suncreens block the body’s ability to make vitamin D by more than 95 percent. Vitamin D is essential for the body’s ability to produce and regulate calcium, and it’s protective against cancer.”

  9. I subscribe to their newsletter.

  10. I like the long sleeve Ethan.


  11. Love the Cameron – Sky Blue/White Baby Skinz!

  12. I subscribed to the UV Skinz e-mail newsletter.

  13. I subscribed to the UV Skinz blog RSS feed and Traveling with Baby’s RSS feed.

  14. I love the brown aloha collection. And I learned to always, always do my research!

  15. I like the Leigh green aloha top in size 8.

  16. I would like the Cheryl – Long-Sleeve
    Sky Blue Full-Zip

  17. Your son looks totally cute in his skinz! My 2-year-old daughter has a skinz outfit and it is wonderful – high-quality and absolutely adorable. She now refers to that outfit as her “water clothes.” 🙂

    If I won, I would select the Renee Hot Pink shirt for my mother-in-law. She is always going outside to play with my daughter and/or to splash in the pool (she’s the BEST grandma!), but I know she worries about the sun because she has fair skin.

  18. I like the blue aloha collection! Thanks for the chance!

  19. I never realized that most sunscreens dont protect from UVA rays which cause the cancer. Thank you for sharing that. I checked out the store and I like the Ava Pink Tie Dye shirt. It is so cute!

  20. I like the long sleeved, full zip cheryl. The zipper is great ’cause I hate pulling shirts over my head!
    I did not know that vitamin D deficiency could cause so many health problems!

  21. I love the Lindsay long sleeve sky blue and white top for women. My daughter and I are really fair, so this would be great for us.

  22. I like the Caleb, navy/orange. That’d be great for my little boy who loves playing outdoors all the livelong day.

    And I didn’t know zinc oxide and titanium dioxide could cause problems! I’ve been told by my doctor that’s what I should be using every day on my photosensitive baby. I think I’ll stick with keeping him out of direct sunlight.

  23. I really like the Renee shirt in sky blue, and I didn’t know before that sunscreens block vitamin d production. Thanks for the giveaway!

  24. I like the Cruiser Hat
    Cream. I learned a lot about reasons not to vaccinate.

  25. subscribe to UVSkinz newsletter

  26. following on twitter and tweeted – http://twitter.com/phxbne/status/2225641357

  27. subscribed to both feeds

  28. i learned that most sunscreens dont protect from UVA rays thanks for the chance

    i also really liked the cruiser hat

  29. i follow thanks eaglesforjack@gmail.com

  30. i subscribe thanks

  31. I would love the Blue Aloha Collection for my fair-skinned daughter, it would be great to keep her protected. I learned that often the ingredients that are supposed to filter or block out UV rays are the most toxic – yikes!

  32. […] POSTS 41 weeks + 1 day pregnant . . . seriously!Health Happy Round-Up: Safe Fun in the Sun40 Weeks + 8 days of gestationChinese Cultural and ChildbirthWordless Wednesday: Babywearing and […]

  33. I’d love to have the blue aloha combo for my daughter! Thanks for the giveaway!


  34. I subscribe to the UV Skinz newsletter


  35. I subscribe to you and the UV Skinz RSS feed


  36. I follow both you and UV Skinz on twitter and tweeted:


  37. I like the Devin (Navy) UV short sleeve!

  38. […] We wore the poor guy out by spending a lot of time in the water.  Calvin’s wearing the long-sleeved UV Skinz Jesse.  I did a review and giveaway on UV Skinz last month. […]

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