The Skin Cancer Foundation Offers Tips for Keeping Kids Sun-Safe This Summer

Published: Monday, July 8, 2013 at 11:14 AM.

    * Practice sunscreen application beforehand. Teach children to apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons, or about the size of a golf ball) of sunscreen to all exposed areas, 30 minutes before outdoor activities. Remind them to cover easily missed areas such as the back of ears and neck, and the tops of feet and hands. If camp rules allow, ask counselors to help children reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or excessive sweating. For extended outdoor activities, a broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher is best.

At the Beach

    * Dress kids in sun-safe swimwear. Look for high-UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) swim shirts or rash guards, and choose bathing suits that cover more skin, like one-piece suits and long trunks.

    * Take extra precautions. Remember that water and sand reflect the sun's rays. Help children reapply sunscreen frequently, cover them up with clothing, and bring a beach umbrella for kids to play under. The most effective beach umbrellas provide a minimum UPF of 30.

    * Talk to your teens about tanning. Teenagers may be tempted to “lay out” or visit tanning salons. But there is no such thing as a safe tan, because tanning itself is caused by DNA damage to the skin. Remind teens that tanning increases skin cancer risk, and leads to wrinkles, blemishes and age spots later in life.

Additional Skin Cancer Prevention Tips

    * Avoid sunburn. It may seem like a temporary irritation, but sunburns cause long-lasting damage to the skin.

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