If you’re wondering whether tanning beds are a safer
alternative, think again. Many doctors now recommend strengthening the warning
signs to say they cause cancer.
Fortunately, most of the risks of sun exposure can be eliminated
through healthy sun habits. Try these steps for protecting yourself and
Sun Safety Tips for Kids
It’s especially important to minimize early sun exposure. The
greatest risk factor for skin cancer is the sunlight you receive before age 20.
Keep babies in the shade. Doctors advise against using sunscreen on
babies less than 6 months old because they may be sensitive to the chemicals
they contain. That means infants need to be kept out of direct sunlight. Dress
your baby in a hat and clothes that provide full coverage. Buy a stroller with
a canopy and treat your car windows with UV film.
Watch your toddler. Toddlers are too busy exploring the world to
worry about staying under a beach umbrella. In addition to sunscreen, keep an
eye on how much sun they’re catching.
Educate your teens. Teens may believe that tanning is glamorous. Discuss
the long-term effects and go shopping for high fashion sunhats.
Talk with your child’s school. How can your kids reapply their sunscreen if
their school classifies it as a medication that requires special forms? Join
with other parents to encourage reasonable policies.
Sun Safety Tips for All Ages
exposure is a life-long concern. The effects are cumulative, so it pays to be
extra careful if you already had sunburns as a child.
Apply sunscreen correctly. It takes a full ounce of sunscreen to cover the average body. Remember the spots that often get missed like
ears and the sides of your torso and legs.
Avoid the hottest hours. Midday sun is the strongest. If possible,
arrange your schedule to be indoors between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Wear protective clothing. While some clothing is advertised as providing
extra sun protection, the FDA typically does not regulate those claims. You can
achieve the same results for less money with any garment that adequately covers
Put on sunglasses. Your eyes need shade as well. Check
that the label indicates broad-spectrum protection when buying both sunscreen
Be vigilant year round. Forget about slacking off in winter. Just like
sand and concrete, snow reflects the sun, and you can become sunburned on
Spray it on. If you still want to brown your skin, spray products are a smart solution.
Test a spot on your arm first to ensure you aren’t allergic to a product before
spreading it all over.
Inspect your body. Regular skin examinations are essential for both children and adults
because most melanomas can be seen by the naked eye, and cured when caught in
the early stages. Pay
attention to moles and any changes in your skin. See your doctor promptly to
discuss any concerns, and find the right level of protection based on your
Enjoy the sun and take in the vitamin D your body needs
without increasing your risk for premature aging and skin cancer. Wear
sunscreen, avoid the hottest hours, and practice other simple and healthy sun