Protect your kids’ skin this summer
By Aimee Heckel
Mommy confession: Putting sunscreen on a wiggly, sweaty, hyper child is the worst. It’d be easier to paint a poodle’s toenails.
But as obnoxious as it is to try to convince a wormy child to hold still — and then wait before jumping in the water (good luck with that one!) — don’t skip or skimp the sunscreen.
Just one major sunburn in your child’s first 15 years can double the risk of skin cancer as an adult, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.
Here are some ways to protect your kids’ skin this summer and keep them safe and fry-free:
1. Avoid the sun altogether. Experts recommend keeping babies six months and under completely out of the sun. Don’t forget areas where the sun can sneak in, such as the car. Use window shields or UV film to protect your children while you drive.
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2. If your child gets sunburned, treat it as a bigger deal than an adult sunburn. If a child under 1 gets sunburned, call the doctor right away. Make sure to avoid using calamine lotion with antihistamines and other medicated creams.
3. Talk to your friends, family and daycare providers and provide them with sunscreen for your child. Some providers may require a signed consent form.
4. Don’t rely on sunscreen alone. It’s best to pair it with UV-protectant clothing, too, such as UV Skinz, which block 98 percent of the harmful rays. UV Skinz started after the founder lost her husband to skin cancer.
5. Teach your older kids about the dangers of tanning salons and encourage them to use self-tanners or spray tanning, if they want to look tan.
6. Don’t lose focus as your children get older. One study found that parents paid less attention to sun safety when their children hit age 2. It showed more than half of the 2-year-olds got burned or tanned, compared with just 22 percent of 1-year-olds. Even tanning is dangerous for your child’s skin. Just because he or she is not red, does not mean damage is not being done.
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