What About Sunscreen?


In preparation for meeting my daughter in Africa, I packed everything I could possibly think of, including sunscreen. It’s hot in Africa! This item became a topic of conversation with the three other couples we traveled with. The main topic of the conversation was “do black people need sunscreen?”

With summer in full swing, parents who have adopted transracially may be asking the same question. On blogs, forums and websites, I have found somewhat conflicting information. The easier questions to answer are: can black people get too much sun? Or can black people get skin cancer? The answer to both of these questions is YES. As for sunscreen specifically, that may depend on your opinion of whether or not the ingredients in the sunscreen are more harmful than the exposure to the sun. For many, sunscreen, hats and sunglasses are great summer essentials.

Sunscreen is not the only change to a summer hair and skin care routine. Chlorine in swimming pools can wreak havoc on the hair and skin. To help combat this, parents can put coconut oil on the hair prior to swimming or cover the hair with a swim cap. After swimming, rinse, rinse, rinse and slather with lotion!

Sand can be so much fun for children, but can be a parent’s nightmare. If sand gets in the hair, I’ve heard solutions of vacuuming or simply rinsing till it’s gone. My sister taught me the magic trick of using baby powder to remove sand from the skin prior to getting in the car when leaving the beach (not sure how that would work on the head). My best personal advice would be: don’t stress over it. Let your kid be a kid and have fun in the sand and sun!

What are your go-to tips for being sun-safe?

Photo Credit: Bec

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