Good sun habits start early
Sunburn in childhood increases the risk of developing skin cancer and melanoma significantly. It is therefore important to protect children and young adults from the sun’s rays.
This is not only important at the beach but also in daily life; for example, when the children play in the garden, are riding on their bikes, or go to the playground.
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If you help children to develop good sunscreen habits from an early age you are protecting them from skin problems later on in life. Make it part of your routine to apply sunscreen in the morning before you leave for work, school or kindergarten and put sunscreen in the children’s bags so that they can apply it during the day.
Of course, you need to help younger children apply sunscreen so that they are well protected, but you should also ensure that young adults take responsibility for covering up too.
Research suggests that approximately 90% of melanoma cases can be linked to exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from natural or artificial sources, such as sunlight and indoor tanning beds. Therefore protection of the skin is important in the fight against melanoma.
Follow these tips:
Generously apply sunscreen to all exposed skin — even on cloudy days — all year-round.
Use a sunscreen that provides a broad spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays and has a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30.
Use approximately one ounce of sunscreen (a shot-glassful) and apply it approximately 15 minutes before exposure to the sun. Then, reapply every two hours and especially after swimming or sweating.
Also, change your daily moisturizer and hand cream to one which contains sunscreen.
Sunscreen is just one part of sun safety and just because you’re wearing sunscreen, doesn’t mean that you can spend unlimited time in the sun.
Wear protective clothing
Wear a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, when possible.
Seek shade when possible
Remember that the sun’s rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Use extra caution near reflective environments
Water, snow and sand reflect and magnify the damaging rays of the sun, increasing your risk of sunburn.
Do not burn
Severe sunburns, especially during childhood, increase your risk of developing melanoma and other skin cancer. Just one blistering sunburn can double your chances of developing melanoma later in life.
Avoid intentional tanning and indoor tanning beds
see Melanoma.org for more information