Protect the children with sunshine. By Marc Sorenson, EdD.
Protect the children against illness? That is a great idea, and sunshine is one of the most effective “protectors” we can use.
“Children and arthritis” is not something we hear about because arthritis is thought to be an adult’s disease. Yet tragically, an estimated 294,000 children under age 18 have some form of arthritis or rheumatic condition. And this represents approximately 1 in every 250 children in the US. Thus, we must be concerned and promote actions that protect the children.
Do we need to be even more concerned to protect the children in northern climes?
Also, the numbers of children with arthritis increase dramatically In Canada and the Northern U.S. This could be as a result of either vitamin D deficiency or sunlight deficiency or both. Since 90% of vitamin D blood levels are due to sunlight, it is likely that sun deprivation is the cause. So, if our desire is to protect the children, we must insist that they receive plenty of non-burning sun exposure. And in the winter, a vitamin-D producing sunlamp should be the first choice. When we use lamps to produce vitamin D, we also protect the children with other critically important photoproducts. Some of these photoproducts are endorphins, serotonin, nitric oxide brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF), dopamine and endorphin. And all of these photoproducts are necessary for health. So, to help the children, we should be sure that they have ample sunshine or light for the aforementioned sun lamps.
Articles from the UK and scientific journals help us to protect the children.
An article from the Express, a UK online newspaper, describes research published in the scientific journal, Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. They state, “Millions of people could protect themselves from crippling arthritis by getting a regular dose of sunshine.” And although the research involved women, we can easily extrapolate to children, since mothers to a great extent, determine their children’s habits.
To learn more about arthritis and the influence of sun exposure, read this article (and others) posted on Sunlight Institute. First of all, go to the news section and search “arthritis.” You will find numerous articles on the subject. Also, read the book, Embrace the Sun.
Remember to obtain regular sun exposure to protect yourself
and to protect the children. Happy sunning!
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: arthritis-related statistics.