Did you know that it only takes a few severe sunburns to advance the risk of skin cancer in your child’s later years of life? Kids can get too much sun anywhere, not just in the obvious places like the beach or at the pool. This month is UV Safety month, and we are teaming up with The Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Southern Nevada to give you some tips to keep your kids safe.
The Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation provides education, support, advocacy and hope to children and teens suffering from cancer. By donating a car for the Candlelighters, you significantly help them ease the life of a child suffering from cancer in Nevada.
What To Notice:
Is it cloudy and cool outside?
Remember that it is the UV rays that damage skin, not the temperature. The clouds will not block UV rays, they only filter them slightly. Your child still needs protection.
Is skin turning pink?
It only takes 15 minutes for unprotected skin to be damaged by UV rays from the sun. However, it may take up to 12 hours for your child’s skin to show the total effect of sun exposure. Having a “little pink” skin today, may mean that it will be burned the next morning. Prevent further burning and get your child out of the sun.
Is skin tan?
There is simply no other way to state this: tanned skin is damaged skin. If there is any change in the color of your child’s skin after he or she has spent time outside, no matter if it’s a suntan or sunburn, it is still damage from UV rays.
Outside longer than you thought?
Did you provide protection for your child’s skin but end up spending longer outside than you were planning? Kids can get sunburned when they are in the sun longer than expected. It’s important to plan ahead and keep sun protection handy at all times. Remember to protect your own skin as well as your childs.
Choose Your Cover:
1. Apply sunscreen
Use a sunscreen that has at least SPF 15 and UVA/UVB protection every single time your child heads out in the sun. For most effectiveness, be sure to apply sunscreen a half hour before going outside. Don’t forget areas like the nose, lips, ears, and tops of feet. Sunscreen only reduces damage from UV rays, it doesn’t eliminate it so be sure to limit time in the sun.
2. Cover up
Along with sunscreen, use clothing that can help protect your child. A shirt instead of bare chested for you son, longer shorts instead of shorter ones, or using a beach cover up are all good ideas. Clothes that cover the skin can help protect against the sun’s UV rays.
3. Wear a hat
While a baseball cap might be preferred by kids, a wide brimmed hat that can shade the face, ears and scalp is preferred for better protection. Either way, be sure and cover any exposed areas of the face and head with sunscreen.
Plan your outside time when UV rays are less strong, like in the later afternoon. Noontime is when UV are the strongest and most harmful, perhaps plan indoor activities during that time. If it’s not possible, then find shade in a pop up tent, under an umbrella, or under a tree. These are options to prevent sunburn, not just to find relief after you’ve been burned.
5. Be cool with shades
Sunglasses can protect eyes from harmful UV rays. Children’s eyes damaged from UV rays can lead to cataracts later on in life. Find sunglasses that block up to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays, and preferably ones that wrap around your child’s head for better protection.
Of course, the best defense against UV ray damage that can lead to skin cancer is to avoid exposure to the sun and to stay in the shade. Your generous car donation can also help a child who suffers from cancer or support another worthy Nevada charity.