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Sun Protection for Kids: Teaching Your Children How to Stay Safe

  • By Harrison Binnie
  • Published 05/9/2012
  • Article Writing

Did you know that today’s children have a one in seven chance of developing skin cancer at some point in their life?  Several scientific studies have shown that it just takes just a single severe sunburn during childhood to double that child’s risk of developing skin cancer later in life.  Is it really worth the risk to put your children through that?  Certainly not!  The key is to teach your kids about sun protection while they are still young.

 Here are some tips for teaching sun protection for kids:

  • Equip them with sun protective swimwear and clothing.  It is essential that you purchase sun protective swimwear for your kids and then explain to them exactly why you are being so selective with the clothing they wear out in the sun.  This needs to be a lesson about why it is important to cover skin up and how sun protective clothing keeps their skin safe.
  • Do what I say and what I do.  Leading by example is the greatest way to affect your children.  They will always look at what you do and try to imitate it, even if they are resistant during their tween or teen years.  The more consistent you are with your own sun protection routine, the more it will become ingrained in your children’s minds as they get older.
  • Tell older kids the facts about skin cancer.  It is much easier to teach sun protection for kids while they are young and haven’t yet learned to ask why you do things the way you do.  However, for older children you may need a hard dose of reality.  By explaining how tanning and severe sunburns often lead to cancer, you explain the whys of sun protection, and this can be even more valuable than more direct lessons for older children—especially those who are concerned about the disfigurement skin cancer can cause.
  • Explain how cooler temperatures do not necessarily mean that it is safe to be outside without sun protective clothing.  It is possible for your skin to be damaged by the sun on cool days, and what’s worse about this type of damage is that often we are unaware that it is happening.  Most people associate sun damage with hot days, but the temperature is not what raises the level of ultraviolet radiation.

Teaching sun protection for kids is getting to be more and more important as time goes on.  The amount of UV radiation that is reaching the earth is increasing gradually year by year, so we’ve got to take steps to keep our children safe.

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