Sun safety; keeping the kids skin protected

The clouds have parted and the sun is shining these days. With the rise in temperatures, comes strong rays of sunlight. It is important to keep your skin protected and even more so for the little ones.

Without the proper protection from the sun, in addition to prolonged exposure, Skin Cancer may occur and even at a young age. The second-most-common cancer, Melanoma is common in women between ages 20 and 29 in the United States.

Signs of skin cancer include spots such as freckles and beauty marks which change in shape, size, or color.

There are 3 types of UVA (Ultraviolet rays) that you should know about:

  • UVA rays cause wrinkles and aging and contribute to the development of the skin cancer, Melanoma. UVA rays pass through the Earth’s ozone layer, and are the most common types of rays we are exposed to.
  • UVB rays are quit dangerous and are the contributing factor to sunburns and cataracts. Most UVB rays are absorbed once they hit the ozone layer, but may still cause skin cancer.
  • UVC rays are very dangerous, but are blocked by the ozone layer, therefore not an issue for our health.

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When purchasing sun block, always look for an SPF of 30 or higher. There is no sunscreen that will offer a 100% protection from the sun, but the higher the number is, the more protection you will have. A SPF of 30 provides 97% protection of UVB rays.

One of our favorite brands is Badger, an organic product that comes in a BPA-free, non-toxic plastic bottle. The company does not test on animals and uses biodegradable containers which are better for the environment.

Since there is no sunblock that offers 100% protection, there are many other ways in which you can protect your skin:

  • The sun’s rays are strongest between the hours of 10 and 4. Try not to stay in the sun for too long during these hours and stay covered up if you are outdoors.
  • Wear UV protected clothing available for purchase at any sports store (including bathing suits and rash guards).
  • Wear hats to protect the face.
  • Wear glasses with UV protection to keep your eyes protected.
  • Make sure to apply sunscreen 30 minutes prior to sun exposure.
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours, don’t forget about the neck and ears!
  • Apply generously!

While it is important to keep skin protected, don’t forget to have fun in the sun. The sunlight provides vitamin D which is essential to our health. It helps the immune system to fight off colds, reduces frequency of asthma symptoms, and reduces the risk of cancer. These are just a few of the benefits of vitamin D, for more information check out WebMD.

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