May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and DoctorsCare has some helpful tips on how to keep your children protected from the sun
Did you know, 80% of your child’s entire lifetime sun exposure happens before they turn 18? While everyone is at risk of getting sunburn if they spend a lot of time outdoors in the sun’s rays, it only takes a few severe sunburns to increase your child’s risk of getting skin cancer. So what steps can you take to protect your child from UV rays?
- Clothes made from tightly woven fabric and darker colored clothes offer the best protection from the sun.
- When possible, the best way to protect your child from UV rays is to dress them in long-sleeved shirts and pants.
- Some clothing is certified under
- Make sure they wear a hat whenever going outside.
- While baseball caps are most popular, they do not protect their ears or neck. If they wear a hat, protect their exposed areas with sunscreen.
- The best hat to wear is those that shade the face, scalp, ears, and neck.
- Wearing sunglasses helps protect their eyes from UV rays as well.
- The best sunglasses are those that wrap around and block both UVA and UVB rays.
- Apply sunscreen with an SPF 15 or greater to any areas of your child’s skin that will be exposed to the sun.
- Apply enough sunscreen, one ounce per sitting for a child.
- Apply often! Be sure to reapply every two hours after swimming, sweating, or using a towel to dry off.
- If your child is in the water or sweating, water-resistant sunscreen may be the best option to choose.
- If your child is under 6 months, it’s ok to apply small amounts of sunscreen if there’s no way to avoid the sun (shade or clothing).
- Be sure to apply sunscreen on their face, neck, and the back of their hands.
- Zinc oxide is also an effective sunscreen that can be used as extra protection on cheeks, noses, tops of ears, and shoulders.
- The best way to avoid sun exposure is to avoid the sun. UV rays are the strongest from 10am-4pm. If you find yourself outside during this time, seek shade when possible by being under a tree, sitting under an umbrella, or taking breaks by going inside.
If your child gets a sunburn, have them take a cool (not cold!) shower or bath. You may also apply a cool compress to the areas affected. Make sure they stay hydrated, and they may take ibuprofen or acetaminophen as direction to relieve pain. You can also apply aloe gel to the affected areas to provide comfort. If your child’s sunburn results in blistering, pain, or fever, contact your pediatrician.
DoctorsCare wants you and your family to stay safe as the weather gets warmer. Visit one of our two conveniently located offices in Clarksville. We accept walk-in patients of all ages during all hours of operation. No appointment necessary! Walk-in, feel better!