Don’t Forget Sun Protection as School Begins

Posted 09/16/2015 | By HealthCorps

It’s somewhat easier to be vigilant with sun protection when the kids are home in the summer, but sun protection is necessary year round. In most places across the United States, September is still a sun-filled month with the sun shining for much of the day, so make sure you’re applying sunblock to all exposed surfaces. If you child’s school allows, send some sunblock along for re-application. It’s a good idea to check with the school nurse or designated health professional to make sure they are following safe sun exposure practices.

There are some common mistakes people make when it comes to using sunblock:

Not using enough sunblock – A full teaspoon on each body part and the face and neck area is appropriate. This applies to kids too.

Not applying sunblock at the right time – You need to be fully covered and allow the lotion to sit on your skin for at least 15 to 20 minutes before going out in the sunshine. Make sure to apply sunblock before your kids get dressed.

Not re-applying sunblock – If you sweat, swim or remain outside for several hours a full re-application is necessary.

Assuming that just using sunblock provides enough protection – Sunblock is a good habit, but make sure to also dress kids in tightly woven cotton clothing and add a hat (if they’ll wear it) as additional sun protection.

Not knowing that certain medications can make someone sun-sensitive – Ibuprofen, certain anti-depressants, diuretics, certain pain relievers, statins, certain antibiotics, and certain anti-aging or acne preparations like retinoids can all make you sun-sensitive.

Regular use of sunblock containing broad spectrum protection is the one of the best ways to prevent skin from aging and to lower your lifetime risk of developing skin cancer. Staying out of the glaring sun during peak hours (10 A.M. to 2 P/M/) and covering exposed skin with sleeves and long pants will also help to prevent skin aging and skin cancer.

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