Balancing the risks and benefits of sun exposure for infants: Skin protection and Vitamin D uptake
Mark Allen Group
Place of Publication
London, United Kingdom
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Medical and Health Sciences
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 let to individuals using chemical protection and physical barriers to protect their skin from the harmful rays of the sun. However, this protection can leads 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.