How to Protect Kids from Skin Cancer?


As parents, the safety and wellbeing of our children is always our highest priority. One of the health issues that often doesn’t get as much attention as it should is skin cancer. Although it’s more commonly associated with adults, children are not immune. It’s essential to understand how to protect our kids from skin cancer, and this post aims to guide you through it step by step.

Elixir @ Hunter is a trusted skin cancer clinic in Maitland offering skin cancer check and treatment to patients in Hunter Valley and surrounding areas.

Understanding sun exposure and skin cancer

The sun emits harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays that can cause skin damage, leading to skin cancer. Children’s skin is more delicate and susceptible to these harmful rays. Although skin cancer is not common in children, the harmful effects of sun exposure accumulate over time, increasing the risk in adulthood.


The role of sunscreen

Sunscreen plays an important role in protecting your child’s skin. Opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays, with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30. Apply it generously on all exposed skin, and don’t forget areas like the ears, the back of the neck, and the underside of the arms. For children aged six months and above, sunscreen should be a part of their daily routine, even on cloudy days, as UV rays can penetrate through clouds.

Sun-protective clothing

While sunscreen is important, it should not be your only line of defence. Dress your child in sun-protective clothing, including wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and clothes with a high Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF). The denser the fabric and the darker the colour, the more protection it offers.

Limit sun exposure

Try to keep your children indoors when the sun’s rays are at their strongest, typically between 10 AM and 4 PM. If they must be outside during these hours, ensure they are well-protected with sunscreen and clothing, and encourage them to play in the shade when possible.

Regular skin checks

Regular skin checks can help in early detection of any abnormal skin changes. Teach your child about the importance of telling you about any new or changing moles or skin lesions.

Healthy habits and education

Educate your child about the importance of sun protection. Make it an engaging learning experience by turning it into a game or story. Encourage them to take ownership of their own sun protection as they grow older.

Remember, it’s never too early to start protecting your child’s skin. By instilling these habits early on, you are setting them up for a healthier future.

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