Sun Safety Tips for Kids

It’s summer, which means outdoor activities are in full swing. With temperatures increasing fast and skin cancer on the rise in young adults, it’s important to protect your kids from the blazing Texas sun. These sun safety tips will help you do just that.

The National Cancer Institute released statistics saying melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old and the second most common form of cancer for adolescents and young adults 15-29 years old.

According to Dr. Nnenna Agim, division director of Dermatology at Children’s Medical Center and assistant professor of Dermatology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, the sun damage slowly accumulated throughout childhood comes back to haunt you as skin cancer in adulthood. Using sunscreen and protective clothing will lessen the chances of sunburn and reduce the risk of cancer.

Prepare for summer days

Dermatology experts at Children’s also recommend keeping the following items in mind when preparing to be outside:

  • Use a SPF of at least 30.
  • Choose a product your child is willing to use consistently (spray, creams, pastes, sticks etc.).
  • Look for broad-spectrum sunscreens that protect against UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays can cause tanning, ageing, leathery skin and skin cancer including melanoma. UVB rays can cause sunburns, skin cancer and increased moles in some individuals.
  • Reapply sunscreen every 3 hours or sooner when there is prolonged activity in the water.
  • Avoid activities during peak sunshine hours (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.) when possible. Seek shade if your shadow is shorter than you are.
  • Dress your children in a variety of available UV protective clothing articles that can be worn in and out of the pool/water (wide-brimmed hats, long sleeved cotton clothing and sunglasses).

Be safe in the sun this summer because a few blistering sunburns in childhood can double a person’s lifetime chances of developing serious forms of skin cancer. Visit EWG’s Skin Deep Sunscreens 2012 to find out more sun safety tips and what sunscreens are best for you and your children’s needs.

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