You’ve made a list of the things your child will need for school from pencils and backpacks to sneakers and socks, and even their favorite snack to pack in their lunch. But wait, you may have forgotten the one item that could be a lifesaver. Yes, that’s right, I said life-saver…did you remember to buy the sunscreen?
Ongoing research about ultraviolet (UV) radiation and its effects on the skin show how sunscreens may play an increasingly important role in defending the skin.
Students in K-8 usually have recess or PE outdoors from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.; one of the most intense and hottest times of the day. According to the American Cancer Society, one blistering sunburn in a child’s life could double a person’s chances of developing melanoma later in life.
However, sunscreen is only one item in the list of sun-safe precautions. Unfortunately, teaching sun-safe behavior is not universally recognized in every school. But parents and caregivers can take the lead.
The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends following these tips:
• Dress children in sun-protective clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
• Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen to exposed skin every morning. (check with your pediatrician or family health care provider for suggestions about sunscreen)
• If permitted by your school, teach children to reapply sunscreen when going outdoors for recess.
• Teach kids to look for shaded areas in which to play.
• Protect yourself and lead by example.
For more resources and information, check out http://www.sunsafely.org. Educating children and teens is our first defense in helping prevent skin cancer later in life! Remember, sun protection should be on the top of your school list!
Sun Safely Alphabet Book available at Amazon children’s books.