Nothing can completely undo sun damage, although the skin can sometimes repair itself. So, it’s never too late to begin protecting yourself from the sun. Follow these tips to help prevent sun-related skin problems:
- Apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or greater at least 30 minutes before sun exposure and then at least every 2 hours thereafter, more if you are sweating or swimming
- Select cosmetic products and contact lenses that offer UV protection
- Wear sunglasses with total UV protection
- Wear wide-brimmed hats, long sleeved shirts, and pants
- Avoid direct sun exposure as much as possible during peak UV radiation hours between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
- Perform skin self-exams regularly to become familiar with existing growths and to notice any changes or new growths
- Eighty percent of a person’s lifetime sun exposure is acquired before age 18. As a parent, be a good role model and foster skin cancer prevention habits in your child
- Avoid tanning beds
via Sun Safety Tips.
Just a few serious sunburns can increase your child’s risk of skin cancer later in life. Kids don’t have to be at the pool, beach, or on vacation to get too much sun. Their skin needs protection from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays whenever they’re outdoors.
- Seek shade. UV rays are strongest and most harmful during midday, so it’s best to plan indoor activities then. If this is not possible, seek shade under a tree, an umbrella, or a pop-up tent. Use these options to prevent sunburn, not to seek relief after it’s happened.
- Cover up. Clothing that covers your child’s skin helps protect against UV rays. Although a long-sleeved shirt and long pants with a tight weave are best, they aren’t always practical. A T-shirt, long shorts, or a beach cover-up are good choices, too—but it’s wise to double up on protection by applying sunscreen or keeping your child in the shade when possible.
- Get a hat. Hats that shade the face, scalp, ears, and neck are easy to use and give great protection. Baseball caps are popular among kids, but they don’t protect their ears and neck. If your child chooses a cap, be sure to protect exposed areas with sunscreen.
- Wear sunglasses. They protect your child’s eyes from UV rays, which can lead to cataracts later in life. Look for sunglasses that wrap around and block as close to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays as possible.
- Apply sunscreen. Use sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and UVA and UVB protection every time your child goes outside. For the best protection, apply sunscreen generously 30 minutes before going outdoors. Don’t forget to protect ears, noses, lips, and the tops of feet.
Take sunscreen with you to reapply during the day, especially after your child swims or exercises. This applies to waterproof and water-resistant products as well.
Follow the directions on the package for using a sunscreen product on babies less than 6 months old. All products do not have the same ingredients; if your or your child’s skin reacts badly to one product, try another one or call a doctor. Your baby’s best defense against sunburn is avoiding the sun or staying in the shade.
Keep in mind, sunscreen is not meant to allow kids to spend more time in the sun than they would otherwise. Try combining sunscreen with other options to prevent UV damage.
via CDC – How Can I Protect My Children from the Sun? – Skin Cancer.