The Importance of Sun Protection For Kids
We all know that we should put sunscreen on our children, but I’m willing to bet that there are plenty of us who can get rather lax in this department from time to time. Well, you’ll start slathering it on every single time you’re outside once you see this infographic from Mom Loves Best. Sun protection isn’t just a good idea – it’s life-saving.
Skin Cancer Is On The Rise
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, and it’s becoming increasingly common, especially among women under 30. Lifetime sun exposure builds up over time, so exposure during childhood affects one’s likelihood of developing related cancers. And with only 25% (yes, only ONE QUARTER) of children using sunblock on a regular basis, it’s no wonder that this type of cancer is increasing in incidence rather than decreasing.
What You Should Know About Sunscreen
Ready to commit to using sunscreen every time your child is out in the sun? Then make sure you choose one with a minimum SPF of 30, and check to make sure it specifies that it blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Choose a lotion rather than a spray; while convenient, sprays go on thinner (making them potentially less effective) and can be dangerous if inhaled.
When using sunscreen, apply it liberally, early, and often. Adults need a full ounce of sunscreen for a complete and effective application. Sunscreen should be applied at least 30 minutes prior to sun exposure for proper skin absorption and needs to be reapplied a minimum of every two hours in order to maintain protection. And remember – the sun’s harmful rays can penetrate clouds, so slather it on even when the sun isn’t blazing.
Sunscreen Is Not Our Only Line Of Defence
Finally, don’t forget other methods of sun protection. Simply avoiding the peak hours (10am-4pm) can help reduce lifetime exposure. Using hats and other clothing (provided they have a UPF rating) can block harmful rays, as can sunglasses. And if all else fails, find a spot in the shade, or create your own shade using a UV protected umbrella or beach tent. Every little thing you can do to reduce your child’s exposure will help.
This post was written by Jenny Silverstone. Jenny is the mother of two, and a blogger who enjoys trying to help educate other parents about the importance of sun protection, swim safety and breastfeeding. You can find her at MomLovesBest.com