Protecting kids’ skin from the sun

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UV rays and sun exposure can cause cumulative skin damage over time, and it is also linked to skin cancer.

Therefore, it is never too early to start protecting your skin from sun damage and preventing skin cancer.

It is important to begin teaching children at a young age about protecting themselves from sun exposure, as this will instill good habits.

Parents can make it fun by teaching their children fun methods, such as looking to see if their shadow is shorter than them when they are outside.

If it is, then that means it is the time of day when the sun’s rays are the strongest and they should try to find shade. Of course, sunscreen is always an essential part of protecting your children from sun burn and skin damage.

Key guidelines to remember when applying sunscreen on your children, as well as yourself, are to use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher, apply generously thirty minutes before going outside and continue to reapply throughout the day.

New FDA regulations require sunscreen bottles to claim ‘water resistant’ rather than ‘waterproof’, as no sunscreens are fully waterproof.

The new bottles also inform people how often to reapply the sunscreen. It’s important to choose broad spectrum sunscreens that protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Cone Health Cancer Center educates children throughout the community about sun safety through the ‘Slip, Slop, Slap’ program.

This program teaches children to ‘slip’ on a dark colored shirt, as UV rays can penetrate light-colored or white shirts, ‘slop’ on some sunscreen, and ‘slap’ on a wide-brimmed hat before going out in the sun.

Spokesperson Background:
Christine Brannock is the oncology outreach manager at Cone Health Cancer Center.

Christine earned a Bachelor of Science in public health education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2001, and an associate degree in nursing at Guilford Technical Community College in 2004.

She has been an employee at Cone Health for 13 years.