Some of you already know about Kids Travel Doc, the free and wonderfully written newsletter that Karl Neumann, MD writes from Long Island, NY. Karl is a recognized pediatric travel expert, a longtime ISTM leader, and a great friend of nurses. His newsletter should be recommended to every parent concerned about children and travel…
See his recent post, “Summer Vacations/Protecting Kids in the Sun” for valuable reminders- for all ages- about how to stay safe in the sun.
And here are a few additional reminders for travel health nurses:
- The FDA now uses the term sunscreen, not sunblock, because nothing actually blocks the sun except staying inside. (And not all sunscreens live up to their marketing claims…)
- Also, sunscreen expires -but the container may not have an expiration date- so it is important to note the day of purchase and throw out old sunscreen after one to two years. (I personally paid the price for outdated sunscreen on a trip the Florida Keys a few years back-not a pretty picture!)
- By contrast, DEET products do not have an expiration date…
- Critical teaching point about sunscreen and repellent for all our travelers: after dressing, sunscreen goes on first in areas not covered by clothing. Sunscreen works by absorption; about 20-30 minutes later apply repellent to those same areas. Repellents work by evaporation. Reapply according to the directions on both labels. See CDC guidance in the Yellow Book http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/sun-exposure
- Many drugs can enhance sun sensitivity- Doxy and Cipro both come readily to mind. Check your travelers’ meds for this added sun risk.
Happy, healthy summer everyone!