5 Important Considerations for Sun Safety
1. Sunglasses -- Children who spend a lot of time in the sun, especially children who are blue-eyed, should wear sunglasses, or shade their eyes with a hat. Sun exposure in the early years can lead to cataracts and age related glaucoma in later years.
2. Sunscreen -- Get a good low toxin sunscreen that blocks both UVB and UVA rays. This is critical, as it’s the UVA rays, the ones that don’t actually burn, that cause the most dangerous skin damage according to the latest Environmental Working Group report. Avoid oxybenzone and retinylpalmitate. Re-apply every 20 minutes or as recommended by your pediatrician. Consider purchasing a UV monitoring wristband UV Monitoring Wristband, which will prompt you when to re-apply.
3. Vitamin D -- It's been discovered some adults and children are developing low Vitamin D stores in their bodies as a result of conscientious sunscreen use. Others report the problem is not that great because we don't tend to use sunscreen properly in the first place. Vitamin D supplements are helpful, but unless you have a medical reason to stay out of the sun altogether, 20-30 minutes of indirect sunlight a few times a week is recommended. This is reportedly enough to enable your body to absorb the rays necessary to synthesize Vitamin. This applies in the winter too. And no, you can’t get adequate Vitamin D from sunlight through a window.
4. After Sun -- If your child gets a little too much sun, suggested soothers are aloe, tea (make a brew to release the tannins and soak a washcloth in it, then apply), or apple cider vinegar. I’ve seen vinegar reduce redness in a mild pink burn; the smell does go away. Of course, if a burn is significant, consult your doctor right away.
5. Sun Blocking Clothing -- For those who are extremely fair or want to ensure they limit their
future exposure, there are clothes made with high sun resistance such as SunGrubbies.com and the Coolibar line that you may want to consider.
New information is becoming available regularly about sun safety. An updated sunscreen report will be published soon by the Environmental Working Group. Pay attention to the news and have even more fun in the sun knowing you’re taking the necessary precautions to protect yourself and the children in your life.
Advertisers that want us to relate positively to their product rely heavily on outdoor images such as lying in a hammock under a tree, standing on a shoreline or gazing at the scenery from a mountain. They use these images because we perceive them as happy, relaxing and nostalgic times. These are the same types of images used in hypnosis and other methods for relaxation and even pain management. These images are very effective because spending time in the out of doors makes us happy. It turns out it can also make us significantly healthier.
Some of us seek out natural spaces and wild living things to soothe our soul while some of us have no interest in what’s going on outside of our windows. In all cases however, we would do well to make sure we spend more time in the green out of doors. Study after study reinforces the notion that being in nature is a natural stress reliever. It clears the head leading to clearer more productive thinking, and walking outside may even prevent cancers.
Consequently, a lack of exposure to nature can be detrimental to our psyche. Research documented last fall in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health says living near a green space reduces the percentage of people experiencing negative mental health symptoms, as well as other medical and physical complaints . A study last fall in the Lancet indicated people living near green spaces, or a “green oasis” as some refer to green open spaces such as parks, are less likely to develop certain negative health conditions.
A more recent analysis of 10 different studies found improvements in mood and self esteem when one spent just five minutes exercising outdoors. The improvements were most significant for younger people and people struggling with mental illness and, not surprisingly, were compounded if there was also water in the area.
Based on these studies as well as anecdotal experiences, spending time regularly in a green space each week can reduce your tendency toward everything from depression to cancer. So here’s something enjoyable to add to your health arsenal -- spending time outdoors.
Thankfully, the winter has broken and we are beginning to see some lovely weather, perfect for planting a garden, an outdoor picnic or a walk through the neighborhood. Some of the happiest times in my life have been simply hiking and exploring the beautiful countryside in New Jersey with loved ones and family. From the terminal moraine (where the glaciers came to their sliding stop at the end of the ice age) and mountainous woodlands of Northern Jersey to the meandering rivers and pinelands of Southern Jersey, the beaches to the East and the wonders of the Delaware River to the West there's no end of amazing areas to explore.
David Wheeler, who has published a book entitled "Wild New Jersey" about his adventures during a year long exploration of the wild parts of the state, will be at the Clinton Book Shop tomorrow, April 17 from 1-3:00. . Here's an excerpt from his press release.
The fastest animal on earth dive-bombs him from the skies. A young black bear bounds up a mountain trail a few yards away. Poisonous snakes swirl at his feet. A thousand bats careen past his head in a pitch-black roost. Pods of dolphins swim right past him by the scores. Who? Experienced naturalist David Wheeler. Where? In Wild New Jersey, of course.
Wild New Jersey invites readers along Wheeler’s whirlwind year-long tour of the most ecologically diverse state for its size in America. Along with the expert guidance of charismatic wildlife biologists and local conservationists, he explores mountains, valleys, beaches, pine barrens, caves, rivers, marshlands, and more—breathtaking landscapes and the state’s Noah’s Ark of fascinating creatures.
This isn’t your ordinary ride on the Jersey Turnpike. Fasten your seatbelts and join Wheeler as he . . .
Kayaks through the Meadowlands under the watchful eye of the Empire State Building, Pans for cretaceous fossils in a hidden brook once home to mastodons and giant sloths, Rides a fishing boat in the frigid snows of winter on a high-seas quest for Atlantic puffins, Trudges through the eerie darkness of a bog on a mysterious night hike, Dogsleds across the windswept alpine slopes in the haunts of the porcupine and bobcat.
With Wheeler’s compelling narrative, in-depth background details, and eye for revealing the offbeat, you can count this as the first nature book to paint the extraordinary picture of New Jersey’s unlikely wilderness in all its glory. Come along for all the adventure and insight in Wild New Jersey!
NaturalJersey.com was created in order to have a place on the web where we can all share the great green & natural health resources in NJ. I hope you find it a never ending resource when you're looking for health-minded local businesses.