Before Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month comes to a close, be sure to remind your kids and loved ones that excessive sun exposure and improper protection can increase the risk for skin cancer. Check out these tips to ward off those harmful UVA and UVB (ultraviolet radiation) rays:
For babies under 6 months
- Avoid sun exposure.
- Dress infants in brimmed hats that protect the face and neck adequately, lightweight long pants and long-sleeved shirts.
- When adequate clothing and shade are not available, parents can apply a minimal amount of sunscreen with at least 15 SPF (sun protection factor) to small areas, such as the infant’s face and the back of the hands.
- Should an infant get sunburn, apply cool compresses to the affected area.
For all other children
- Stay in the shade whenever possible, and limit sun exposure during the peak hours – between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Wear a hat with a three-inch brim, sunglasses (with 97-100% protection against both UVA and UVB rays), and clothing with a tight weave.
- Apply enough sunscreen — about one ounce for each area of exposed skin, i.e. leg or arm. Be sure to reapply it every two hours, or after sweating or swimming.
- Use extra caution near water as it reflects UV rays and may result in sunburn more quickly.