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November 1992

Sun Protection and Vitamin D Status in Infants

Author Affiliations

Magee-Womens Hospital Department of Pediatrics 300 Halket St Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3180

Am J Dis Child. 1992;146(11):1260. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1992.02160230018005

Sir.—I read with interest the article by Bolognia et al1 in the October 1991 issue of AJDC. They recommended that parents "decrease unprotected time in the sun." The authors do not appear to have serious concerns about possible vitamin D deficiency, as "spending 30 minutes per week outdoors wearing only a diaper or 2 hours fully clothed without a hat is sufficient [in exclusively breast-fed infants] to maintain serum calcifediol levels above the lower limit of normal.2 The recommendation by Bolognia et al does not take into account issues related to race, latitude, and season. In a challenging 1988 study, Webb et al3 demonstrated that exposure to winter sunlight in Boston, Mass, and Edmonton, Alberta, does not promote vitamin D3 synthesis in human skin. Moreover, Matsuoka et al4 confirmed that in the northern United States, winter UV-B irradiance does not reach the threshold required

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