Saturday, May 19, 2012

Rashes, Poos and Promotions - Oh my!

We've had quite the interesting last few days.

On Monday night, I realized Jax had developed a rash in the areas the sun had touched him (neck, cheeks, arms) and he was itching it pretty badly. I gave him a bath and put cortisone cream on it. I assumed his skin was reacting to being in heat and the sun for the first time since last summer. I kept my eye on it and after 72 hours it was still present. I called the nurse and she said to come in the next day if it was still there, but she was also assuming it was sun related.

That evening, we saw that Brady started to get the rash on his arms and cheeks as well. We WERE outside those few days in between, but I was sure to use a lot of sunscreen and hats for the boys. We brought them in to the doctor on Friday afternoon and she confirmed that the boys were actually have a reaction to the sunscreen and the sun. Mixed together, they were getting a photo(something) chemical reaction. Oh my gosh, I felt SO bad for continuing to put this sunscreen on them and let them go outside!
It turns out that children can suddenly show a sensitivity or allergy to products, which is exactly what happened. The doc also mentioned that those nice new convenient spray cans of sunscreen are filled with chemicals that can actually be harmful in the long run. How IRONIC is that? I mean, you put this on your kids to prevent sunburns and cancer and here the stuff is riddled with cancer causing chemicals. I swear it's hard to win as a parent.

So we were given a prescription for some steroid cream to help the current rash and told to buy SUNBLOCK rather than sunscreen and the zinc/mineral based lotions are the best. I found a sunblock stick by Alveeno for the boy's faces and a tube of sunblock made by the same company I use for the boy's bubble bath and soap (Baby Ganics). Once you read what it is all "free of", it makes you realize how much crap is in the stuff we've been using. All I care is that it's waterproof and will stay on!
So, while this was a pain in the butt, and I feel bad for my itchy, rashy kids, it's a very simple fix.

Ok, onto the Poo story. I smelled a funk in the air and asked Brady if he pooped. He nodded, so I told him to go to the changing area. Suddenly Jax jumps up, runs to the bathroom, grabs the little frog potty and yells, "POOO". I helped him with this pants and sat him down. Sure enough, the little guy went poo on the potty. This was the first time he told me he had to go, initiated it and went - AWESOME JOB JAX!! We still just talk about it a lot, but don't push it. It's so nice to see it starting to click! The pediatrician asked on Friday if there's been any interested and we told her Jax's moment and she gave him a high five and that kid grinned EAR to EAR! She said to keep it positive, not to push and the whole experience will be much easier if we wait until they're fully ready. She thinks Jax will be ready before Brady, but Brady may follow suit faster with Jax to copy.

Now for the promotion! I got one (SMILE)! It's a significant jump, but of course I can only commit to so many hours with all the boy's needs and Jason's position having him gone so often, but it does feel nice to wear a different hat than just MOM. It will work out nicely in the fall when the boys are in school 2 hours an afternoon 3x/week (that's what we think will be the outcome of their IEPs next week), but until then in the summer, I'm going to need a helper for about 2 hours for 2-3 afternoons. Someone to just play with the boys outside, go for walks, maybe go to their speech therapy. I'm working most nights until 10pm the way it is now, and I just can't take anymore hours from the boys during the day, so to keep a good balance of them getting outside, and me getting SOME work done as well, it's time to take that step forward and get some help.
It's a very strange step for me since I've been the boy's constant care taker for almost every moment of each day, but I think it will be good for everyone. Haha, listen to me, it sounds like the boys are going off to camp for a month or something!
So I'm on the hunt - any suggestions of how to find someone for about 4-9 hrs a week?

The large can of Banana Boat spray is what we've been using for the past 2 summers. I will miss the convenient spray can!

**EDIT TO ADD: Thanks for the safe list Shana! Here is a list of the safest products to use (thankfully I got one that was on it!)

EWG’s Safest Sunscreens for 2012

Many great sunscreens made the EWG list this year. You can see the full safe sunscreen list at EWG, but here are 10 top choices to get you going.
  1. Adorable Baby Clear Baby Sunscreen Stick, SPF 30+
  2. Seventh Generation Baby Sunscreen, SPF 30
  3. Sunbow Dora the Explorer Sunscreen, Pink, SPF 30
  4. The Honest Company Sunscreen, SPF 20
  5. TruBaby Water & Play Mineral Sunscreen, SPF 30+
  6. California Baby Fragrance-Free Face & Body Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+
  7. BabyGanics Cover Up Baby Sunscreen for Face & Body, Fragrance Free, SPF 50+
  8. Earth’s Best Mineral Sunscreen, SPF 30
  9. Badger Lightly Scented Lavender Sunscreen, SPF 30
  10. BurnOut Kids Physical Sunscreen, SPF 30+
Here is what to avoid:

2012 Hall of Shame Sunscreens

Along with the safest sunscreens, each year, EWG releases their list of the worst sunscreens on the market, or their “hall of shame” list. This year, the following sunscreens made the list of shame…
  • Synthetic chemical sunscreens: Sunscreens like Banana Boat Kids Quik Blok Sunblock Spray Lotion and SPF 35 and Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70+ are dvertised for babies and kids but contains oxybenzone, a synthetic chemical that can disrupt hormones and cause allergic reactions.
  • Sunscreens with vitamin A: EWG notes that vitamin A, also known as “retinyl palmitate” or “retinol palmitate” on ingredient lists, shouldn’t be in sunscreen due to vitamin A’s link to skin tumors and lesions in some studies. There’s debate about this issue, as some people think vitamin A is not a huge danger, but sunscreens with this ingrediant did make the EWG hall of shame list this year. Typical offenders include sunscreens like Banana Boat Baby Tear Free Sunblock Lotion, SPF 50+, Arbonne Baby Care Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30 and Australian Gold Baby Formula Lotion Sunscreen, SPF 50+.
  • Sunscreens labeled higher than SPF 50: EWG points out that, “Sky-high SPF products may protect from sunburn, caused primarily by UVB rays, but they leave children vulnerable to skin-damaging UVA rays.” Higher SPFs may also lull parents into a false sense of security, letting them think they don’t need to apply more sunscreen. With this in mind, EWG says to cut back on high SPF sunscreen like Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Beach & Pool Sunblock Stick, SPF 70.
  • Sprays and powders: Aerosol spray sunscreen is often marketed to kids, yet sprays pose serious inhalation risks and make it easy to miss spots of skin, leaving your child exposed to harmful rays. Two hall of shame sprays this year include CVS Kids Fast Cover Continuous Clear Spray, SPF 50 and Rite Aid Baby Continuous Spray Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50. Another problem are loose powder sunscreens which emit a plume of airborne particles. If inhaled, these powders may damage lungs. EWG notes that, “Powdered sunscreens may also contain nanoscale and micronized zinc oxide, which can cause lung inflammation and worse.” GO!screen Natural Mineral PowderBlock Brush-On Sunscreen, SPF 30 is one such powder.


Matt & Shana said...

Check out this site if you have time:

Any Banana Boat and Coppertone's are usually on the "bad list" unfortunately but there are plenty of choices on the good list.

Since we are on the equator and Matt has red hair I try to keep up with the sunscreens/blocks and which ones have harmful chemicals as much as possible.

Good Luck, us fair skinned peeps need to stick together :)

Michele said...

The problem with the baby sunblocks is that my very fair kids will STILL BURN, even with a high SPF. My choice is the chemical sunscreens or guaranteed sunburn. I'll take my chances with the sunscreens! I'm a redhead and so is my oldest daughter, and I have my first basal cell carcinoma removed a couple years ago (mid-30's). But when I was a kid my parents never put sunblock on me, so my fate is already sealed. :)

Angela said...

Awesome post! I originally thought the sun block I was using on my boys was on the "good" list, but it's not anymore - time to revisit the list & switch. (Especially since our daycare puts it on them daily when they go outside.)

jessica.draheim said...

Check out this site too, not sure how dedicated to kids they are, but it has lots of good info: