- A significant amount of a person's lifetime sun exposure occurs before the age of 18
- Too much sun exposure, which includes both acute exposure (sunburn) and chronic exposure (suntan) is the major factor that contributes to the development of skin cancer
- Most skin cancer can be prevented by minimizing cumulative sun exposure
tips to protect yourself and your child from the sun
· Limit your outdoor activities between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.. This is when the sun's ultraviolet rays are the strongest.
· Use sun precautions every day! Even on a cloudy day, most of the sun's ultraviolet rays pass through the clouds.
· Apply sunscreen before you leave the house in the morning. Be sure to send sunscreen with your child to daycare and camp!
· Apply sunscreen SPF 30 or greater, to children over 6 months of age 30 minutes before going outside. Re-apply every 2 hours, more frequently if swimming or sweating. Even water-resistant suncreens need to be reapplied. Babies under the age of six months should stay out of the sun.
· Use of a moisturizer with SPF 30 daily when your child will not be spending a significant amount of time in the sun is also helpful.
· Wear a wide brimmed hat, sunglasses and sun-protective clothing when outdoors.
· Choose a sunscreen labeled “broad spectrum;’ this will protect against both UVA and UVB. If your child will be swimming, choose a water-resistant sunscreen.
· People with sensitive skin or eczema should choose a product containing only zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. These ingredients don’t irritate the skin. Examples include:
o Blue Lizard Sunscreen – Baby
o Blue Lizard Sunscreen – Kids
o Blue Lizard Sunscreen – Sensitive
o Aveeno Natural Protection Mineral Block Sunbock Lotion
o Neutrogena Sensitive Skin with Purescreen Sunblock Lotion
o Fallene COTZ
o Vanicream Sunscreen
· Umbrellas, trees, shadows and picnic shelters are good sources of shade. Remember that the sun reflects off of the water, snow, concrete and sand. Being near these can lead to an unexpected sunburn. Ask your child's provider if any medications your child is taking will make him/her more susceptible to sunburn. Medications such as tretinoin (Retin-A®) and doxycycline can make you more likely to get a sunburn.
· Sun-protective clothing and swimwear provide excellent sun protection for your child. These products are typically rated with an ultraviolet protection factor of UPF 50. Check out the following websites for sun protective clothing and swimwear:
If you can sew, check out www.solarveil.com for sun-protective fabrics.
· Rit SunGuard laundry aid can be used when washing clothing to add the equivalent of UPF 30 in clothes. This protection lasts for up to 20 washings.
· Remember to examine your child’s skin on a regular basis every 2-3 months or as recommended by your doctor. Look for changes in the size, shape, color, or texture of any existing moles. Moles that grow faster than your child, develop areas of different color (brown, black, white, red, blue), are asymmetric, or have fuzzy borders should be evaluated. If any changes are noted, or if any bleeding or irritation develops in an existing mole, contact your provider.
· Use of tanning beds and tanning booths is NOT safe ! These devices deliver UVB light, which contributes to the development of skin cancer and photodamage
IF YOU DEVELOP A SUNTAN DESPITE USING SUNSCREEN, YOU ARE STILL GETTING TOO MUCH SUN