Most people who are diagnosed with skin cancer are adults, we tend not to think of the susceptibility of children’s skin to harmful UV rays, it is something which is underestimated and can catch the most sun-smart person out. Apparently exposure to UV radiation during the first 15 years of life greatly increases the risk of developing skin cancer in adults.
With this in mind we’ve created some helpful tips to encourage sun smart protection practices with kids:
- Keep little ones out of the sun! Plan the day’s activities so that they are not exposed to direct sunlight. Sunscreen is not recommended for infants under the age of six-months-old, so the best solution is to make sure they are kept in the shade and out of direct sun exposure.
- As your child heads off for their first day at school, make sure they are instilled with a sense of sun smart protection. Children, especially young children, are creatures of habit. A routine of wearing a hat to and from school and on the weekends will make it more normal and easier for them to accept.
- The difficulty of protecting your teenager’s skin will generally trump that of a toddler! It’s much harder to get them to do what mum or dad says. If your teenager thinks that a tan is a must have, then try to encourage them to go for a fake tan instead.
- Have SPF 50+ sunscreen at the front door and in the car and make sure everyone puts it on before they head out.