Spring is finally here and with warmer weather comes more time spent outdoors. One of the most
important things you can do for your child as a parent is to teach them about sun safety. Protecting your
kids from harmful rays is easy, you just have to be consistent! Follow these easy tips from dermatologist
and Senior Vice President of The Skin Cancer Foundation, C. William Hanke, MD, FACP, to keep your kids
safe while they enjoy some fun in the sun!
1. Always use a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, even on cloudy days! If you have trouble
wrangling your little ones long enough to apply your standard sunscreen lotion, sunscreen
sprays and mineral sunscreen can make applying sunscreen easy and even fun! Don’t forget to
apply every 2 hours for maximum skin protection.
2. Protect as much of your child’s exposed skin as possible with wide-brimmed hats, UPF
(Ultraviolet Protection Factor) clothing, and sunglasses that block UV rays.
3. If possible, avoid spending time in direct sunlight during the peak sun intensity hours. Seek
shade during the peak sun hours of the day, which are between 10am and 2pm.
4. Educate your kids about the dangers of tanning beds and sun exposure. Indoor tanning amongst
teens and young women has become increasingly popular. Both indoor and outdoor tanning can
dramatically increase your chances of developing skin cancers including basal cell carcinoma,
squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. If your teen insists
on having a summer glow, there are many safe sunless tanning products on the market that
offer a natural looking tan without the sun damage.
According to Dr. Hanke, “Ultraviolet light is the new tobacco. You can be smart about protecting your
skin and still enjoy outdoor activities.”