Sun's Out, Fun's Out, But Safety's Gotta Be All About! Making UV Safety a Family Habit this July
Published: Jul. 9, 2024
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UV Safety Month 2024

Why is UV Safety Especially Important for Children?

Children's skin is thinner and more delicate than adults', making them more susceptible to sunburn and UV damage. Did you know that nearly one-quarter of all lifetime sun exposure happens before the age of 18? These early sunburns can significantly increase the risk of skin cancer later in life.

Making Sun Safety a Family Adventure!

Here's the good news: Sun safety can be fun and easy to incorporate into your family's routine. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Seek shade, especially during peak UV hours (10 am - 4 pm). Pack an umbrella, schedule picnics under trees, or plan pool time in the early morning or later afternoon.
  • Slip on sun-protective clothing. Look for long, loose-fitting clothes made with tightly woven fabrics. Rash guards and swim shirts are great options for the pool or beach.
  • Slap on a hat! Wide-brimmed hats that shade the face, ears, and neck are essential.
  • Wraparound sunglasses. Look for sunglasses that block UVA and UVB rays.
  • Slosh on sunscreen! Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. Apply generously and reapply every two hours, or more often after swimming or sweating. Don't forget often-missed areas like ears, lips, tops of feet, and the backs of necks!
  • Be aware of your risk. If you have fair skin, light-colored hair, or freckles, you are at an increased risk of skin cancer. If you have a family history of skin cancer, you are also at an increased risk.
     

Sun Safety Hacks for Busy Families:

  • Keep a basket by the door stocked with sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses for easy grab-and-go sun protection.
  • Make sun safety a game! Challenge your kids to find shady spots or time how long they can keep their sunscreen on.
  • Lead by example! Make sure you're following all the sun safety tips yourself.

By working together, we can make UV safety a natural part of our summer fun. This July let's pledge to protect our children's skin and keep them safe in the sun!

 

Additional Tips

● Check your skin regularly for any changes. If you notice any new or unusual moles, bumps, or freckles, see your doctor right away.

● Avoid tanning beds. Tanning beds emit UV rays that can damage your skin and increase your risk of skin cancer.

● Eat a healthy diet. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays.

● Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water helps keep your skin healthy and hydrated.

 

For more sun safety tips and resources, visit the websites of The Skin Cancer Foundation https://www.skincancer.org/?gad_source=1 and the American Academy of Dermatology https://www.skincancer.org/?gad_source=1

Happy Sun Safety Month!

 

This blog was written by Pediatric Associates' Fabiana Izquierdo, MD, FAAP