Researchers have found that changes in the skin cells that may lead to skin cancer may begin during the first year in the life of children. The most recent statistics show that six times more young adults are diagnosed with this condition now than 40 years ago. These are just some of the facts that should make parents provide adequate protection to their youngsters.
Protection from UV Radiation for Skin Cancer Prevention
Exposure to ultraviolet radiation is the major cause of skin cancer. Protecting your child from the harmful UV rays of the sun should be your main priority. The measures which you need to take to protect your child do not differ from the ones adults need to adopt. These include avoiding exposure to the mid-day sun, staying in the shade and wearing sunscreen, protective clothing, wide-brim hat and sunglasses when outdoors. Be sure to choose sunscreen for your child very carefully. There are many products specifically designed for kids, but you have to make sure that the one which you pick is both effective and safe. Any product with SPF 15 should do a good job, but it is best to go for one with SPF 30 or higher if your kid has a fair complexion. Sunscreen with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide should provide effective UVA protection without irritating the skin. Generally, products for children should not contain ingredients which can irritate the skin such para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) and dioxybenzone, sulisobenzone, or oxybenzone. Protective clothing should be comfortable for playing. You may want to go for sunglasses with an elastic band if your child is very small and/or highly active. Bucket hats with drawstrings are the best option for active youngsters.
Educating Children and Teens about the Risks of Skin Cancer
A recent study has revealed that when kids are educated about skin cancer and the methods for prevention at an early age they are more likely to adopt and to stick to these preventive measures for the rest of their life. Children aged from 10 to 12 seem to be the most responsive as during this period in their life they realise the important of health and of looks. Statistics show that early education about the risks of this disease has led to reduction in indoor tanning by 35 per cent. You can educate your child about skin cancer, its risk factors and the methods for prevention yourself. There are plenty of resources available for the purpose. You can also take your youngsters to special educational events.