Temperature Check: Just One Sunburn in Your Childhood Doubles Your Chance of Developing Melanoma Later in Life

Sunscreen Girl

Summer is upon us and as the temperatures start to rise, sun safety becomes more important for our children. The Skin Cancer Foundation stated, “just one blistering sunburn in childhood more than doubles a person’s chance of developing melanoma later in life.” With staggering statistics like this, sun safety for our children should be a priority year round.

Here are our top five UV safety tips to help you and your family get through this summer sunburn free!

Seek shade. UV rays are strongest and most harmful during midday hours try to plan your outdoor time for early mornings and late afternoons.

Barbara Palen, a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner here at NCHS suggests that, “it is good to give the kids shade breaks with some quiet games under a tree or sun protector.” If you plan to be outside for an extended period of time seek shade under an umbrella, tree or sun protector regularly especially when UV rays are the strongest between 10am and 4pm.

Cover Up. Dress your children in light-weight, long-sleeved shirts to help protect your skin from UV rays. Rash guard swimsuits for children have become popular and help protect them from UV rays.

Get a hat. Sun hats, especially broad-brimmed hats, are essential for sun protection for your children’s face, scalp, ears and neck. Make sure your kids don’t leave home without a hat!

Wear Sunglasses.  Not only are they fashionable, sunglasses protect your children’s eyes from UV rays, which can lead to cataracts later in life. Look for sunglasses that block as close to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays as possible.

Apply Sunscreen. Use sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and UVA and UVB protection every time your children go outside. Apply sunscreen generously 30 minutes before going outside and don’t forget ears, nose, lips and tops of feet!

Barbara adamantly stated, “parents need to remember to reapply sunscreen every one to two hours. If their children are in the water, sunscreen should be reapplied.”

Sometimes extended periods of time spent in the sun will result in a sunburn. Barbara recommends, “if the skin is starting to pink, a towel rinsed in cool water and applied for 20-30 minutes can be helpful, refreshing it with additional water every 10 minutes or so.”

For more information on sun protection for your children contact your provider at NCHS today!