Now that finally the warm weather has decided to stay with us, and children will spend longer hours outside whether at the playground, pool or at the beach, it is of utmost importance that they are protected from the sun ultraviolet rays.
Why so much care and protection? Children are no longer immune to melanoma at a young age due to the thinning of the Ozone Layer** when not properly protected. Children are the most exposed since their skin is still delicate and much of their daily activities (i.e, sports, playgrounds, etc.) do take place outdoors, and especially during the Spring/Summer seasons. Sunburns received during childhood greatly increase the risk of developing melanoma at a later age or even during childhood!!
Here are some tips you may know already to protect your child's skin from sun rays:
1. Use sunscreen or sunblocks consistently. It takes just seconds to put sunscreen/sunblock on the face, and a little longer for the entire body.
2. Purchase protective eyewear for kids. Yes, we think they look really cute, but it is actually now necessary.
3. Avoid the strongest rays of the day - normally from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM in the northern hemisphere. Okay, this doesn't really help because much of that time frame is basically When they are outside. But knowing this fact, then you can:
4. Cover up your child with either clothing (hats, t-shirts, water shirts, etc.) or, again, use sunscreen/sunblock, even if they will in the backyard. Most sun damage occurs as a result of incidental exposure during day-to-day activities, not at the beach.
5. Seek shade. An indoor activity is a nice option.
6. Protect the lips. Although lips can never tan, they easily burn. Encourage your child to use protective lip balm every day and reapply it often.
7. Ban the tan. No tanning is safe these days, and never allow your child to go to a tanning bed. Today, there are plenty of options for sunless tanning.
Last but not least, keep an eye on your child's skin. If you notice skin spots larger than a pencil eraser or change shape or color, take your child to a dermatologist.
Moms' Buzz cannot stress enough the importance of using:
SUNSCREEN/SUNBLOCK SUNSCREEN/SUNBLOCK SUNSCREEN/SUNBLOCK SUNSCREEN/SUNBLOCK
It's never too early to protect the skin your child is in!
- The Moms' Buzz
**Some facts to remember: the ozone layer is our shield from the sun's harmful radiation, but human activities have damaged this shield. Less protection from UV light allows for stronger UV rays, which can, over time, lead to higher skin cancer and cataract rates. UVA rays, a type of UV light, penetrate the skin deeply and are primarily responsible for premature wrinkling, while UVB rays are responsible for sunburn and skin cancer or Melanoma. Melanoma is considered the most serious kind of skin cancer, according to the American Melanoma Foundation. Although much of this damage doesn't show up until 20 or 30 years after the sun exposure, 80 percent of this harmful exposure is received before age 20. So, whether your child is an infant or a teenager,it's never too early to protect the skin they're in!