According to the American Cancer Society, “Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. It accounts for nearly half of all cancers in the United States. More than 2 million cases of basal and squamous cell skin cancer are found in this country each year. Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, will account for more than 75,000 cases of skin cancer in 2012.”
Yikes! It seems that early protection is a gift we can give our children now, while there are young and unaware of the full effects of the sun. There are many options out there to best protect your children:
Get out Early in the Day – Try and avoid the sun between 10AM and 4PM. It is also a good idea to check the UV Index daily to see if, on high Index days, you might want to stay indoors more than usual.
Wear sun protective clothing – Sun hats and clothing with SPF protection will be a good guard against harmful rays from the sun. An article on Phys.org talks about sunscreen vs. sun protective clothing: “While there will always be a place for high-quality sunscreen on body parts exposed to the sun, covering up elsewhere — ideally with clothing designed to absorb or shield the sun’s damaging ultraviolet (UV) radiation — can minimize a person’s skin cancer risk significantly. If getting a whole new wardrobe of sun-protective clothing is out of the question, washing your existing clothes with Rit’s SunGuard, a product that treats fabric with a compound that imparts 96 percent UV protection through about 20 washings, might be the way to go.”
Sunscreen – Check out Environmental Working Groups site for their 2012 sunscreen guide to find a good sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) that is free from chemicals you may want to avoid. Often they do not cost much more than you average sunscreen. Sunscreen needs to be applied every 2 hours at least.
Wear Protection on CLOUDY days as well - UV rays still travel through the clouds so, especially in cloudy Seattle, sunburns and overexposure can sneak up on you.
Seek Shade – A nice shady spot is a good place to stay cool and keep safe.
Eat your fruits and veggies – According to this Inhuman Experience blog post, adding plenty of green, orange and red fruits and veggies to you diet can ADD (not take place of) sun protection.
So have fun and be safe in these lovely summer days to come! Do you have any other ideas or thoughts?