Sun Safety in Northeastern PennsylvaniaAbout Skin Cancer:
- It is the most common of all cancers.
- More than one million new cases are diagnosed each year in the United States.
- By the age of 18, most people have received 50%-80% of their lifetime skin exposure.
- Most skin cancers are either basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma, depending on the type of skin cells involved.
- Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer, and can be life threatening.
- Skin cancer is almost always curable when detected and treated early.
- The sun is the cause of at least 90% of all skin cancer.
- Skin cancer is preventable.
A Guide to Sensible Sun Protection:
- Keep infants out of the sun for the first 6 months of life, and minimize exposure during the rest of their childhood.
- Watch the time. The sun’s rays are most intense between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Cover up your child with a long sleeved shirt and long pants. Choose tightly woven fabrics.
- A broad-brimmed hat is best, and sunglasses should be worn. Use a sunscreen with a SPF of 15 or greater. The sunscreen should be water-resistant or waterproof. Re-apply frequently. Don’t forget to apply on cloudy or hazy days.
- Avoid artificial tanning sources, including tanning salons, booths, beds and sunlamps. Radiation from these light sources can be dangerous, and the claim that they are “safer than the sun” is false.
- Check your medicines. Certain prescription and over-the-counter medications can induce photosensitivity, an extreme reaction to sunlight, which is characterized by rash, redness, and/or swelling.
- Examine your child’s skin regularly, as well as your own. Watch for any new raised growths, itchy patches, non-healing sores, or changes in moles.
Set an example for your child. Use these simple measures to protect your own skin, and it is more likely that your child will also adopt sensible sun-care habits.
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