Cover up your kids, dang it.

All summer it boggles my mind.  Little girls in bikini’s and one pieces.

lordy, the kids a red head! She should be in a tent

I’m rolling up my big boy pants and wading into JUDGE LAKE.  I don’t get  the recklessness I see in the sunny months.  Why am I often the only parent putting my kids in rash guard style swimwear?

In my lifetime we went from a country that worshipped the sun, let people smoke on planes, made it illegal to have kids sit in the front seat.  Let alone on the arm rest like I use to, next to my groovy Ali McGraw looking mom in the 1970′s with her deep brown tan.  YET, there is a great disconnect when I see kids at the beach and poolside.  Their swimsuits make me look to see a dangling cigarette in the hands of their moms, to hear if people are calling grown black men, “boy”.   The world changed, became more aware of cultural flaws and safety issues, subsequently we buckle our kids in a special seat in the back of the car, advanced civil rights, but knowing the dangers of the sun 99% of parents I see dress their little daughters like this when near a body of water.

I don’t get it

NOT to mention the odd sexualization of childhood these suits represent.  I’ve long been bothered by little girls dressed as if they have developed bodies.  Just looking at this from a health issue, parents are exposing their children to the sun at the worst times to do so.  Sun exposure when we are under 25 is the most dangerous for our skin.  Later, our goose is kind of cooked.  A burn in childhood follows you for life.  I had been stewing about this issue of unprotected kids in the sun and today an OP ED piece propelled me to write about it. It’s about the dangers of tanning bed by a doctor who had a scare.

Not Cute

The doctor advocates for warnings on tanning beds.   where is the warning on little kids swimsuits?

The other day at a party for a friend of Rex’s a blonde boy was running around playing shirtless.  I said something to his father and the father said something along the lines “It’s okay, he was by a lake last week.”  I was confused.  I think he was using that old myth about if you have a base tan you are protected.  The little boy was obviously getting red.

from CDC

When Vivien was a baby we were given a baby bikini.  Barf.  We couldn’t throw that out of the house fast enough.  We know we have a dirty planet.  As Woody Allen said in “Annie Hall”, “Everything our parents said was good for us is bad, the sun, milk, college.” We know melanoma is on the rise,  PARENTS WHY DON’T YOU PROTECT YOUR KIDS IN THE SUN.   I hear, “I slathered on the sunscreen.”  Yes, that’s good, but c’mon it’s not as good as having material covering the body.  I put on sunscreen on the exposed legs of my kids and they still get tan. They jump in the water, run around.  DO you really keep reapplying every 30 minutes?  I doubt it.  Plus my son is wiggly and it’s hard to get as much on him as I would like.  I have a long sleeved shirt for Rex sometimes, but I’ve been getting push back from Vivien for my Victorian ways because all of her friends are dressed like Kiddie Sports Illustrated. I’m firm.  Sun is up, rash guard swimwear is on. She’s lucky I don’t throw her in a burka.

what my kids wear

 

It’s fun to have your kids in cute clothes.  That’s what dresses, and little ties and vests are for.  Cover up your kids in the sun, humor me.

 

 

 

 

10 thoughts on “Cover up your kids, dang it.

  1. Right on, Daphne. Even in foggy weather at the beach it’s possible to get burned. Being very pale and growing up in So. Cal., I developed a melanoma in my 60′s. Fortunately, I caught it immediately as I knew all about Melanoma. Or maybe my immune system was good, or both, as it has never come back. Education about skin cancer and melanoma is especially important. I hope many parents read this piece!

  2. Ava will be in a bathing suit next week. She wears sunscreen of course and her half Italian skin helps but just a heads up. I also wear a bathing suit….Will you be wearing a burka?

      • I get that. Personally I am OK with 50 SPF and a bathing suit. I have seen countless sunburns on kids with those other suits on- on arms and legs- maybe because their parents had a false sense of security. Regardless – I believe she is good as long as I lather her up every hour and so far we haven’t had any burns.

  3. I wish my folks had kept me more covered. I got burned as a kid on my shoulders and back and it hurt. Then come to find out that puts me at a 70% chance higher of getting skin cancer. Cover the babes up!

  4. God, that image of the girl in the bikini is vile. We avoid the sun like the plague as well as the SPF 50 but perhaps living in a country where it’s not out that much helps!

  5. I love this post. Not only do I agree on the sun issue but also the sexualities swim suits. Too many child sex crimes have gone viral for me to dream of dressing my child provocatively even at the beach!

  6. tell viv that my 13.5 year old daughter is still wearing a rash gard and will probably always wear one. her skin just can’t take the sun!

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