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Basic sun facts:
Limit your outdoor activities between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm. This is when the sun’s rays are the strongest. Use sun precautions every day! Even on a cloudy day, most of the sun’s ultraviolet rays pass through the clouds.
Regular use of sunscreen during the first 18 years of life can lower the risk of certain skin cancers. Apply sunscreen to your children before they leave the house in the morning. Be sure to send sunscreen with your child to day care and camp!
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that to prevent both skin cancer and other forms of skin damage related to ultraviolet light from the sun, you should choose a sunscreen labeled “broad-spectrum” with SPF 30 or higher that is water-resistant. Look for these ingredients when choosing a sunscreen. Any one of these three ingredients is fine:
Remember to apply enough sunscreen to cover all exposed areas, including the scalp, ears, neck, hands and feet.
Remember to reapply sunscreen at least every two hours, more frequently if your child is swimming or sweating.
Umbrellas, trees, shadows and picnic shelters are good sources of shade. Remember that the sun reflects off of the water, snow, concrete and sand. Being near these places can lead to unexpected sunburn.
Ask your child’s doctor if any medicines your child is taking will make him or her more susceptible to sunburn. Medicines such as tretinoin (Retin-A®) and doxycycline can make you more likely to get sunburn.
Use of tanning beds and tanning booths is NOT safe! These devices deliver UVB light, which contributes to the development of skin cancer and photo damage.
IF CHILDREN ARE GETTING A SUNTAN DESPITE USING SUNSCREEN, THEY ARE STILL GETTING TOO MUCH SUN! YOU WILL NEED TO USE COVER-UP CLOTHING AND KEEP THEM OUT OF THE SUN!
If your child develops sunburn, the following care is recommended:
Remember to check your child’s skin on a regular basis every two to three months or as recommended by your doctor. Look for changes in the size, shape, color or texture of any existing moles. Tell your regular healthcare provider if you see:
Most children will continue to develop new moles over time. It is normal to develop new moles. Most are not worrisome, unless they have an unusual appearance. You can reduce the development of new moles by following sun protection guidelines.
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