Did you know that the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes? More than 1 million people in the United States are diagnosed with skin cancer each year. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the USA. This is unfortunate because skin cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer.
Youth are particularly at risk of overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation since a large amount of the average person’s UV exposure occurs before the age of 18. Even one severe sunburn in childhood can double the risk of developing skin cancer later in life. As parents, you can give your children a legacy of sun safety by helping them develop good sun protections habits early in their lives. Here are a few tips to help reduce sun damage this summer and throughout their life:
- Apply broad spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15 before you and your family goes outside, even on slightly cloudy or cool days. Don’t forget to put a thick layer on all parts of exposed skin.
- Look for some “fun “colors such as blue, pink, red, etc. They look like skin paint which may be fun for kids to wear, and also you can see your kids in a crowd of other children. Many of these varieties are available online.
- Be sure to reapply more sun screen if your children are playing in water or sweating.
- Remember, sunscreen works best when combined with other options to prevent UV damage.
- Have children wear hats that have a brim to shade their eyes, sides of the faces and back of neck. Make sure they wear them when they are in the sun.
- Also wear sunglasses to protect the eyes and the sensitive skin around them.
- Have children wear shirts with sleeves, especially to cover the upper back and shoulders, where the sun hits most directly.
- Limit outdoor play time during the 10am-4pm when ultraviolet rays are the most intense. When outdoors during midday, help children find shady spots to play.
Written by: Susan Zies, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Wood County, firstname.lastname@example.org
Reviewed by: Patrice Powers-Barker, MA, CFLE, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Lucas County,email@example.com