Summer safety tips for kids: ways to reduce the risk of skin cancer.
Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers, and it is also one of the most dangerous. However, most skin cancers have a 99% survival rate when diagnosed and treated early. Most are also preventable if certain precautions are taken.
Skin cancer and other UV damage can be avoided by building solid and healthy sun protection behaviors in children. Skin damage comes from two different ranges of UV rays:
UVB: UVB rays are just as hazardous as UVA rays, but they’re considered to be a leading cause of melanoma skin cancer in people under the age of 20 who get serious sunburns. UVB rays have a shorter wavelength but a considerably greater energy level than UVA rays. As a result, UVB rays are the most harmful to the skin’s top layer because they directly harm DNA. Despite the fact that just 5% of UVB rays reach the earth’s surface, they remain the most common cause of skin cancers and sunburns.
UVA: UVA rays are the primary cause of melanoma, the most severe form of skin cancer. These rays have a longer wavelength than UVB rays. However, they have lower energy levels by entering the skin deeply, inflicting harm to the skin’s cells in an indirect manner. UVA rays are often associated with aging as their effects have been linked with premature aging, wrinkles, and fine lines. Unlike UVB rays, UVA rays aren’t absorbed by the ozone layer, so 95% of UV rays that reach the ground are UVA rays.
Non-melanoma skin cancer accounts for more cases of cancer than all other cancers combined. This perfectly avoidable illness takes a heavy toll on people’s lives each year, with more than 5.4 million cases recorded in 2019.
To keep yourself and your kiddos safe in the long run, here are some sun safety tips that you can teach your children as a habit so that they go into adulthood prepared and are able to prevent a future skin cancer diagnosis.
- Applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen SPF30+ will protect your children from UVA and UVB rays, and remember to look for clean or cruelty-free options to lessen your impact.
- When applying sunscreen, remember to use the teaspoon method, and to be effective, you need to re-apply for this every 2hrs.
- If your child insists on tanning, consider using tinted sunscreen. Take note that any discoloration of your child’s skin is an indicator of sun damage, raising their chances of developing skin cancer.
- Water in our body is essential, so we must stay hydrated because sun exposure can lead to dehydration. Make sure that chilled water or sport’s water is available to your kids at all times.
- Don’t forget to wear clothing that will cover and protect you from the sun. Use clothing made from tightly woven cloth that offers SPF protection.
- If you’re caring for a child under 6months old, please keep them out of the sun! Sunscreen isn’t recommended for them.
In this infographic from The Derm Review, you’ll find more tips that can help you prevent your kids from the danger of the sun— your loved ones will be safer in your care if you follow the correct information.