Spring break is either here or very near for your Atlanta family. As your kids rush outdoors to soak up the long-awaited sunshine, make sure you do your part to protect their skin. The fresh rays on their pale winter skin can be especially harmful if you don’t take proper measures.
Did you know that getting sunburn, just once every 2 years, can triple your risk of melanoma skin cancer? The sunburn that seemed to come and go so quickly on your child, has the potential of developing into serious skin cancer when they become adults. These include skin cancers such as basal cell, squamous cell, or even melanoma.
While unprotected sun exposure is enough to cause skin cancer in anyone, there are some people that are more at risk. For example, genetics play a strong role in one’s tendency for developing melanoma. While a sunburn is the trigger for the growth of skin cancer, some people have the genetic makeup that makes them more susceptible to the growth of melanoma. Learn your family’s risk factor!
Preparing Your Kids for the Sun
First and foremost, choose a proper sunscreen for your child. While sprays are popular and considerably more convenient, lotions are more effective. Lotions provide a physical and chemical barrier to harmful UV rays, whereas a spray can only offer a chemical barrier. Lotions also spread more evenly. If you’ve ever used spray sunscreen on your child, you know how easy it is to miss a spot or two.
Choose an SPF with at least 40 SPF. If your kids bounce in and out of the pool, make sure your sunscreen is water-resistant and reapply as necessary. If your child has a reaction to a certain sunscreen or they are experiencing sunburns despite a diligent application, it may be time to consult with your dermatologist on finding a better brand.
Most importantly, make sunscreen a daily habit – even when it is cloudy outside. Your child should think of putting on sunscreen like they do putting on their shoes. Highlight areas of their body that get the most exposure, such as the tops of their ears. When possible, encourage your child to wear a hat or wear a long-sleeve swim shirt for extra protection.
For more tips on protecting your child from sun damage on spring break this year, please call Olansky Dermatology Associates. We offer a wide range of skin treatments for children of all ages, from babies to teens.