Are Your Children Sun-Safe?

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Australian children are exposed to the harshest UV rays in the world, and subsequently Australia experiences the highest incidence of skin cancer. To protect your child and ensure their sun safety, it is imperative that certain measures are taken to guard against these harmful rays. It only takes 12 minutes in the sun for your child’s skin to burn, so make sure you are aware of and enact these measures to ensure the safety of your child.

Sunscreen and protective clothing. It’s not possible to cover every inch of your child’s body – nor is that practical or comfortable in the summer months. But make sure that if your child’s skin is going to be exposed to any sun that it is protected by broad spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30+. Make sure it is applied 20 minutes before entering the sun and then reapplied every 2 hours. Always make sure your child wears a hat, sunglasses and any other appropriate sun protective clothing.

Skin checks. Regularly get your child’s skin and moles checked. Dermatologists and skin cancer clinics offer these services, and can advise on any areas or moles of concern. Some GP’s also offer this service – particularly if you have just one worrying mole or skin tag.

Sun awareness. Teach your child about the dangers of the Australian sun and the need to ‘slip, slop, slap’. If your child knows that spending long periods of time in the sun is not good for them, they will be more proactive about putting a hat or sunscreen on themselves.

School clothing. You can’t be with your child at school to guarantee their sun protection. What you can do, however, is buy them sun protective school clothes. Harmful rays can pass through the material of many school uniforms, but new material has been developed for kids’ schoolwear that has an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 50+. Getting the basics right – and making sure the clothes block UV rays – is one of the most important elements of sun protection.

Kids love to be outdoors playing and running around. And sun protection is not about getting in the way of an active, outdoor childhood. It’s about making sure that Australian children are given the best chance against the harsh Australian sun. Sunscreen, the right kids’ schoolwear, skin checks and overall sun awareness are the best way to ensure their sun safety.

write by Erwin Izquierdo


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