05-22-2012 11:10 AM
My dd (11) burns so easily! She has reddish hair and is quite fair (my dh and I are dark so go figure!). We use Ombrelle but every summer she gets burned. I'm really concerned about the number of burns she gets and skin cancer later in life. I've told her the sun isn't her friend and she needs to cover up. When she was young she would wear "swim shirts" but now that she's older and none of her friends wear them, they're not "cool." How can I make her realize she needs to take this seriously? She hates taking the time to put on sunscreen. Do the sprays work? Any idea where I can buy an appropriate wide brim hat? Any advice is appreciated. TIA!
05-22-2012 11:19 AM
MAKE her understand that her health is at risk in this. This is not a brand name shirt vs a no name shirt type of situation, we're talking about her health. This is very serious and you need to have a serious talk with her.
My 2 kids and hubby are white as ghost and I constantly put sunscreens on them (well, dh puts his own!) and they never burn because I re-apply every 2-3 hours.
As her mom, you have to make her understand how serious this is. There's no such thing as cool or uncool this is, it's her health.
As for the hat, sorry, I have no idea. Maybe The Bay or any big store like this?
05-22-2012 11:20 AM
I am sorry; I do know it can be difficult but I think this is a situation where you have to put your foot down. If she burns that easily, being covered up is not a choice. You can get some fun and funky rash shirts (this might be what you mean by swim shirts) that she can wear over a fun bathing suit, even a two-piecer if that's what she wants, but she has to have the shirt on in the sun and in the water.
I can tell you this battle will not get easier as she gets older and does want to wear a two-piece like all of her friends.
A very good friend's daughter burns quickly and badly so the shirt has not been optional, ever. Now at 13 (next month) she just knows. I guess I see it like a kid wearing glasses or having a retainer. Nope, it can feel really uncool but it is necessary.
As for the sprays, they do work, but a couple of hints (from someone who is strawberry blonde and freckly): use them outdoors if at all possible, they make the floors slippery as all get out; also I tend to spray and rub it in just to make sure I don't miss any spots. Sometimes I even spray right over bathing suit lines etc. And, of course, follow directions. I think mine says to apply 30 minutes before sun exposure for example.
05-22-2012 11:46 AM
I am with the others, I would treat it as the serious health issue that it is. It is in the same category as wearing your seatbelt, wearing a bike helmet, etc. Non-negotiable! Make sure she knows what melanoma is...I think a lot of people, not just kids don't see it as too big of a deal...you know, just get the mole removed...but it can be very serious and lead to all sorts of tumours, etc.
Definately the sprays work, you just have to be sure you don't miss a spot. Also, I agree with the PP who said they can make the floor slippery. We always use them outside. I would shop for a hat that she would wear and get her a rash guard to wear in the water and as a bathingsuit cover-up. There are some cute ones out there - landsend.ca has some nice ones. My nine year old has started to resist his swimshirt, but he needs to wear either it, or his wetsuit if we are going to be at the beach or pool during the day. I don't really care it if is cool or not, he is wearing one or the other. I also set a good example and wear my rash guard too.
05-22-2012 12:58 PM
Here are a couple of articles that might help on the topic of sunburns:
There is also a discussion about sun hats with school aged kids happening here that may help:
I feel like a story or a gallery about sun hats and maybe even clothing with UV protection should be in the works. I'll see if I can get that queued up.
05-22-2012 01:37 PM
As I see it she's self-concious and responding to her notions of how she's perceived by her peers. But, would you allow her the freedom to take up another peer driven activity such as smoking (for which the starting age can begin around age ten)?
You could: (1) take note of local weather charts showing UV hazard levels during the day, and take the highest level of precautions between typically, 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. for us regular people (I'd extend that to 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 pm for those with fair skin and redheads); (2) it might be helpful to encourage her to find one or more fair, red-headed young women of public note that she might like to emulate and identify with (as she's likely to discover on learning more about them, that they've a profound respect for the consequences of unprotected exposure to mid-day sunlight); (3) facts might be more persuasive than mom's opinions (watch for articles to show her highlighting sunshine hazards to the fair skinned; (4) set an example as best you can; and, (5) I urge you to not give up on the concept of hats but keep retrying variations from time to time (eg. summertime suggests 'straw' hats).
05-22-2012 07:47 PM
My dd is 13 now and is very good about rash guards for swimming outdoors but sunhats...that's another story! She NEVER wears one anymore and she's auburn and light complected ughhhh! As for spray on sunscreen, my fave way to use it is to spray into my cupped palm and then apply it by rubbing it in evenly, spraying more onto my palm regularly. I think you waste wayyyy too much spraying onto the skin directly. At least in the cupped palm, I can apply it indoors (to allow for the soaking in time) and we don't have to worry about breathing it in or making slippery floors.
We went through a phase of her trying our resolve where she'd come out in her "indoor" suit for outdoor water play and we'd have to be firm sending her back in to change. If she didn't, she wasn't allowed out. It worked and I highly recommend Land's End for rash guards and bottoms. They often have good sales in their overstocks section. Their mail order (online ordering) is fabulous and they often have free shipping. Their clearence stuff can't be beat!
On sale rash guards shown here. They likely have tons full price too! Likely a pattern or 2 she'd like maybe.
Good luck and your right, it's not a "cool" issue, it's a health issue and a valid long term concern!
Take care, Carleon.
05-24-2012 07:32 AM
Thanks everyone for the info and advice. When I first read the words rash guard I thought what the heck is that, lol! I've shown my dd the shirts on Lands End and she said they're ok so I'll see about ordering something. I have a bit of control now but I know when she gets to be a teenager things will be different. We went to the beach on the long weekend and saw all these young girls walking around in such skimpy bikinis with their boobs and bums hanging out. Yikes! I've talked to dd about skin cancer and now whenever I talk about covering up she gets really upset and says things like she thinks I'm telling her she's going to die from it (I've noticed lately we've got a bit of a drama queen thing happening now but I guess that's another post, lol!). Thanks again.
05-24-2012 08:13 AM
Just a comment from the peanut gallery here. I think that when it comes to teenagers, they really do need help with risk assessment. And, something that we as parents do which is a disservice to their risk assessment skills is OVER EMPHASIZE risk. I think that you should research skin cancer carefully - but possibly a better angle to approach this at is just the sun damage angle.
While it is quite likely that your dd may never get skin cancer, it is pretty clear that unless she covers up, she WILL suffer sun damage. I would point out the crepey skin on some thirty year olds, and the sun spots and other signs of sun damage around you. That is perhaps a more REAL concern... that she will get wrinkles, blotchy skin etc. Not to make it all about vanity, but, only talking about skin cancer is probably doing your dd a disservice. She already (rightly) knows that not every fair person who gets lots of burns gets skin cancer. And you focussing on that aspect gives her an excuse to throw out your reasonings. She only ups her risk by doing these things, not guarantees her risk. She does, however, guarantee her risk of skin damage.
In fact, she may already have some. You might even be able to take her to a pharmacy which takes those UV pictures in order to show subtle sun damage... if she burns easily, there may already be evidence of damage. THAT is how I would address it if I were you - that she is already damaging her skin, and damaged skin ages early, AND is at a higher risk of skin cancer...
Anyway, just a thought.
05-30-2012 09:35 AM
Just a thought, but I think you need to take your dd shopping with you.
Make it a fun experience, let her try on some big extravagant, floppy sun hats. Tell her she looks like royalty!
Take her to places where she can find some funky, fun and fashionable summer clothing.
If she picks it out herself then there is a much better chance that she'll actually wear it.
Maybe even invite a friend along for the shopping trip, and that way she will have her peers acceptance that her wardrobe is "cool".
I don't know if I would recommend the sprays.
I just read a report that there has not been significant study done on the affects of inhaling the mist from it.
You could be saving her from one cancer but introducing a carcinogen into her lungs.