Exposure to the sun is associated with all forms of skin cancer, but the most common type of skin cancer is basal skin cancer. Frequent severe sunburns and intense sun exposure in childhood increase the risk of basal cell skin cancer. Basal cell skin cancers usually appear on sun-exposed areas, most commonly the face and neck, but also on the trunk and legs. The fact that it is showing up in teens and people in their 20s is of great concern to dermatologists. The incidence of basal cell skin cancer in North America is going up by 10% a year.
Apply sun protection cream half an hour before your children or infant go outside and reapply it regularly, particularly after they've been swimming or got wet. Also, use a product with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. Products with SPFs of 60 offer greater protection but they don't mean your child can safely spend four times longer in the sun. Sun screens reduce the damage done by the sun's rays but they don't block them out completely. You and your children should still cover up with clothes and seek shade during the hottest part of the day.
When there is no shade around, dress your children in loose-fitting clothes and give them wide brimmed hats and good-quality sunglasses. The more skin that is covered with clothing, the better. Look for materials with a close weave, because they are best at blocking out harmful ultraviolet rays. Parents should be aware that when clothing gets wet it halves the protection given by the material.
Helpful Hints to remember before going out into the sun:
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Andrew Van Vooren is a freelance writer with over 5 years experience and has written on many subjects for Natural Health Journals and Parenting Journals. Having worked and studied in Mexico he understands the need to make natural health information to be accurate and easy in spanish using the Revistas de Salud journals.
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