When you hear the words “skin cancer,” what type of patient comes to mind?
What you may assume is that skin cancer is rarely an issue among children. However, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, melanoma accounts for about three percent of all pediatric cancers. Additionally, the number of melanoma patients under the age of 20 increased by 2.9 percent between 1973 and 2001. And perhaps the most unfortunate statistic regarding skin cancer among children is that diagnosis and treatment of childhood melanoma is delayed in as many as 40 percent of cases. But as Science Daily recently shared, a new study called “Incidence of Childhood and Adolescent Melanoma in the United States” is expected to “help put melanoma on the radar of pediatricians,” says Kimberly J. Johnson, PhD.
Protecting children from the sun’s harmful rays is a top priority here at Real Kids Shades, which is why we are so passionate about the month of May being UV Awareness Month. Not to mention, Sunscreen Day is May 27! So we’re taking this time as an opportunity to remind our readers of how they can be proactive about their families’ health and well-being while having fun in the sun this summer. Below are a few friendly reminders and facts from the Skin Cancer Foundation’s Prevention Guidelines to keep in mind throughout summer, and all year long:
- Stay in the shade if possible between 10 am and 4 pm.
- Protect your skin by covering it with protective clothing, and use a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 every day. Be sure to cover all areas of skin that aren’t covered by clothing.
- If you will be outdoors for an extended period of time, use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and reapply every two hours or after swimming or excessive sweating. Also, be sure you know about the FDA’s latest sunscreen labeling rules.
- To further protect your skin and eyes, wear UV-blocking sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat.
Skin cancer is a serious issue, so we encourage you to practice awareness this summer and protect yourself and your family. Now’s the time to get serious about sunscreen and sunglasses!