Monday, August 03, 2009

Scary Tales of the Summer Sun

End of the spring and here she comes back
Hi Hi Hi Hi there
Them summer days, those summer days
That's when I had most of my fun, back
high high high high there
Them summer days, those summer days ~ Hot Fun in the Summertime
When I and my brothers were children so many years ago my mother would tell us to go outside, the fresh air and the sun was good for us. As we grew older the air became more and more polluted and there were many summer days when it was simply dangerous to breath the outside air.

Then the doctors discovered ultraviolet radiation and became obsessed with the notion that sunlight was a hazard and children should not be exposed to the sun's radiation lest they get skin cancer and die fifty years later. Mothers were taught that even a little sun was a horrible thing to inflict upon a child. Use sunscreen, reapplying it every half-hour. Force your child to wear wide-brimmed hats and thick, dark clothing. Instruct them to hide in the shade as much as possible (WebMD advice). Doctors taught that by the time your child showed the first signs of sunburn it was too late, he was doomed to die a horrible death. Being in the summer sun became a joyless experience. It was far safer letting them sit in front of the media center all day.

Now, doctors have discovered that all this hiding away from the Evil Sun had raised a generation of sickly children. More than two-thirds of all children have a vitamin D deficiency. Rickets, virtually wiped out by the time I was born, is making a comeback.

The prescription is my mother's old advice - get your children off their fat asses and let them have fun running around in the summer sun.

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