Kids and the Sun: How to Protect Your Little Ones This Year
Everyone loves a bit of fun in the sun, especially children! But before we can let them run wild, we have to make sure they’re protected from the sun’s harmful rays. Here are a few ways to keep your kids safe this summer.
1. Apply sun protection.
Everyone knows that you’re supposed to wear sunscreen or sunblock, but how many of us actually do it? Well, when it comes to our children, we must be vigilant.
Sunblock and sunscreens help to keep the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays from penetrating deep into the skin. Without protection, the ray’s radiation will damage the skin cells and mutate the cell’s DNA. This process can ultimately lead to skin cancer.
So to keep kids protected, apply a liberal amount of sunscreen before every outing. Choosing the right one can be a bit difficult, so check out this article to help you get the best sunscreen product available.
2. Wear protective clothing.
You don’t have to force your kid into a full-blown, one-piece reflective suit, but you want to make sure that exposed skin is protected. On cooler days, long-sleeved shirts and pants can go a long way in protecting the skin. Sun hats and even brimmed baseball caps can offer protection for the face and eyes. Then, of course, there are sunglasses. Pick out some cool glasses that’ll make your kids not want to take them off.
3. Limit their amount of time in the sun.
Overexposure to UV rays is said to be the leading cause of melanoma, or skin cancer. If this is true shouldn’t we do all we can to protect our children? Something as simple as not staying out too long can significantly lower your child’s risk of developing skin cancer. Less severe conditions like wrinkled skin, melasma, and premature aging can also be prevented by limiting your time in direct sunlight.
4. Teach them about the risks of sun damage and skin cancer.
Being well aware of the risks they face can help in encouraging children to do what they must to protect themselves. They may very well hold some accountability and want to take on the responsibility of applying sunscreen and wearing protective gear. So arm yourself with knowledge and pass it down to your children. You can find tons of info on skin cancer, sun damage, ultraviolet rays, and more here.
5. Lead by example.
Our children truly rely on us when developing their behaviors. They often mimic what they see, so protecting yourself from the sun’s harmful rays will help your children develop safe protection habits. Apply your sunscreen before stepping out, wear your protective gear on sunny days, and limit your time in the sun. Remember to be consistent. Follow these simple rules every day. Not only will you truly minimize your risk of skin cancer and sun damage, but you will also help to reinforce these habits within your children.
6. Get screened.
As a precautionary measure, you and your children should be screened for skin cancer at least once a year. While following the above rules will significantly lower your chances of developing cancer, it’s still better to be safe than sorry. Read this article to learn how screenings work.
If you are in the Cincinnati, Ohio area, our experts at The Dermatology Group are here to offer you more information, advice, resources, and even screening options. Give us a call today!