Balancing the risks and benefits of sun exposure for infants: Skin protection and vitamin D uptake

Sadie Geraghty, Helen Godwin, Kim Oliver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Sunlight is fundamental in synthesising vitamin D in humans. However, the sun is also responsible for negative short- and long-term health effects on the population. Babies and young children who are subjected to unprotected sun exposure are at an increased risk of skin cancer later in life, and therefore they should be considered as a particular target population. Prevention is an important aspect of parental education in the protection of babies' and children's skin, in order to avoid and reduce the consequences of exposure to the sun. Increased awareness of skin cancer has led to individuals using chemical protection and physical barriers to protect their skin from the harmful rays of the sun. However, this protection can lead to a reduced level of absorption and uptake by the body of the natural vitamin D. Health visitors are in a position to advise and support parents in protecting their babies from sun damage, and should actively encourage uptake of vitamin D.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314-320
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Health Visiting
Volume3
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes

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