Snack Hazards for Kids on a Fun-in-the-Sun Day has always been about avoiding empty calories. I didn’t know that often the sun makes skin sensitivity worse to some foods.
When getting ready to go out and enjoy a sunny day with my family, we usually focus on protective clothing for the kids. Trying to remember sunscreen.
Did you know that there are overlooked dangers associated with the snacks they consume?
Certain foods can increase sun sensitivity in your kid’s skin and lead to uncomfortable reactions. I would like to share some of the hidden dangers and share important tips to help keep your kids safe during their fun in the sun times.
Remember your kids skin is still maturing. It will be more sensitive until your child is about 20 or so years old. Sunblocking clothing can help kids through the days of sun esposure. Clothing is the easiest skin protection for kids.
Natural Food Reactions
Some foods contain furocoumarins. When exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light, furocoumarins in these foods can trigger a phototoxic reaction. This reaction can cause skin cell damage, swelling, rashes, and even blistering.
While the reaction may vary from person to person, it’s important to be cautious when eating or drinking these items before prolonged sun exposure. Make sure you don’t leave dried juice on the skin.
The furanocoumarins found in grapefruit all originate from psoralen, a naturally occurring compound found in figs, celery, parsley, and all citrus fruits.
The citrus also includes the bergamot which is used in some teas, making the cooling drink not such a good idea if you or your child is extra sensitive.
What Are Phototoxic Furanocoumarins
According to The National Libriary Of Medicine
Furanocoumarins are a part of naturally occurring phototoxic substances widely spread throughout the Umbelliferae and Rutacea families of plants.
Plant extracts of these families commonly known as citrus extracts are often used as ingredients in fragrances and cosmetic products. Pay attention to sunscreen and other moisturizing lotions used while in the sun.
Read lables and make sure that you aren’t adding one with citrus oil. Darker tone skin individuals may be able to enjoy the lotions with fragrances of citurs in them.
If you are the parent of a redhead, be extra careful. A redhead has sun sensitive skin anyway, and may experience a more intense reaction.
Obviously, you won’t be eating these products, but applying them to your skin and then getting out in the sun can cause issues as well.
What Kinds of Food are we Talking About
Citrus, grapefruit, limes, lemons, and oranges are the most well know fruit and juice extract that is often used in juices aimed at the younger kids market.
Another kind of foodstuff that can cause a skin reaction when mixed with sun exposure there is coriander, dill, cumin, caraway, anise, and celery. Parsley, fennel, and chervil are very popular herbs used in cooking.
Preventing Uncomfortable Reactions
While you may consider the low percentages of reactions to the foods kids eat while having fun in the sun, the risk can be controlled somewhat.
One of the key concerns with these foods is that their juices can come into contact with the skin, especially on the hands, face, and lips of children.
This contact can increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun. Leading to a more severe reaction for your child.
Your child’s skin may also be wet from playing in the water or from sweating. Combined with factors such as heat, and humidity, there is more concern.
To minimize the risk of uncomfortable reactions, it’s crucial to be mindful of the snacks we pack for our kids.
Tips to Avoid Adding Skin Sensitivity Risks
Here are a few tips to reduce your kids risk of a reaction:
- Choose alternative snack options: When planning outdoor activities in the sun, consider substituting citrus fruits like limes with other refreshing options such as berries, melons, or grapes. These fruits provide hydration and essential nutrients without the furocoumarins that can increase sun sensitivity.
- You can include pre-cut and pre-peeled snacks: If your child enjoys celery and carrots, you can still include them in their snack pack. However, it’s advisable to cut and peel these vegetables before heading out. When you remove the outer layers, you can minimize the potential exposure to furocoumarins.
- Encourage hand washing: Remind your kids to wash their hands thoroughly after eating any snacks, especially those that may contain citrus juices or come into contact with the skin. This simple step can help minimize the transfer of furocoumarins from the food to their skin.
- Time snacks strategically: Consider timing your child’s snack breaks to minimize sun exposure immediately after consumption. Enjoying snacks in shaded areas or during designated rest periods can provide a buffer before they resume outdoor activities in the sun.
- Emphasize other safe measures: While snacks play a part in sun sensitivity, it’s essential to remember that they are not the sole factor.
- Teach your child about the importance of wearing sun blocking clothing. A sun blocking hat, sunglasses, and lightweight, breathable fabrics that cover exposed skin. Additionally, emphasize the consistent use of broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF and encourage regular reapplication.
Sami’s Take On Snack Hazards for Kids on a Fun in the Sun Day
Protecting your children’s skin in the hot sun involves more than just applying sunscreen. Wearing sun blocking clothing will go a long ways in preventing food ractions to their skin.
By understanding the potential effects of certain foods. As well as taking appropriate precautions, you can significantly reduce any riskm and contribute to their overall skin safety.
By being mindful of snacks that may increase sun sensitivity, choosing alternative options, and promoting good hygiene practices.
These are all important to minimize the risk of uncomfortable reactions and keep our children’s skin healthy and protected during outdoor adventures.
Remember, while snacks are an important consideration, it’s crucial to maintain a holistic approach to sun protection.
By combining proper sun-safe practices, mindful snack choices, and ongoing education, we can ensure our children enjoy the sun’s warmth and fun while safeguarding their skin health for years to come.