Sunny days bring lots of excitement. You can spend some quality time in the sun and feel its goodness and warmth on your body. However, the sun has many benefits; you have to understand the harms of sunlight. The following information can help you to protect your family from the damaging rays of the sun.
Relation of Skin Cancer and The Sun
Sun is an excellent source of energy on earth, but this energy can be harmful to humans. The UV (Ultraviolet) rays of the sun can damage your eyes and skin. These may be the reason for skin cancer. Among all skin cancers, malignant melanoma is a deadly type of cancer. Children and teens are more exposed to the sun because they spend their maximum time outdoors. You have to guard them against harmful exposure to the sun.
As per research, almost one or even more scorching sunburns in teens or children may lead to melanoma cancer in later life. Sunburns may cause extreme pain. Excessive exposure to the sun may be the reason for the following problems:
- Fever and dehydration (fluid loss)
- Skin damage, like wrinkle and modifications in color
- Damage to the immune system of the body
- Cataracts (eye lens clouding) in eyes
Tips to Safely Expose Sunlight
You can’t stop adults and children from exercising and playing outdoors. It is essential for their body, so you have to look for other methods for their safety. Here are some easy rules for the protection of your family from painful sunburns and skin cancers.
- Keep your younger kids (less than six months) away from direct sunlight. Use a stroller canopy, an umbrella, or find shade under trees.
- Choose comfortable and cool cloth in the summer season to cover your body, like lightweight hats, shirts with long sleeves, and cotton pants.
- Choose tightly woven clothes because they offer better protection than loosely woven garments. For this purpose, hold a dress up to see the amount of light that shines from this dress. Choose a dress with less light. You can check the label, such as UPF (Ultraviolet (UV) Protection Factor).
- Choose a hat with an almost 3-inch brim for the protection of your neck, ears, and face.
- Avoid going out in the sun from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm because the UV rays will be intense between this duration.
- Buy sunglasses that offer almost 99% protection from UV rays. It would help if you had sunglasses for your whole family with ultraviolet protection.
- Use sunscreen of a good brand.
- Educate every person in your family about the protection of eyes and skin from the sun. You can set good examples by practicing safety measures yourself.
If you want to avoid skin cancers and sunburn, you must have sunscreen. Always remember that it will be protected from the sun, not a shield to spend the maximum of your time in the sun.
Ideas to Choose Sunscreen
- Buy a sunscreen with a “broad-spectrum” printed on the label. It means that this sunscreen is suitable for UVA and UVB rays.
- While considering a sunscreen with a broad-spectrum, you have to find the SPF (sun protection factor) of almost SPF 15 to SPF 20. If you get SPF between 15 and 30, it can be useful for numerous people. As per multiple research studies, you have to test a sunscreen over SPF 50 for its extra protection.
- Try to avoid sunscreen with “oxybenzone” ingredients because of its slight hormonal properties. If you don’t have sunscreen without this ingredient, then use any sunscreen. It is better to use one than no sunscreen.
- To protect your body’s sensitive locations like shoulders, ears, cheeks, and nose, you must pick a sunscreen with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. You may notice some fun colors as you rub these products, so don’t worry about these colors.
Application of Sunscreen
- Take sufficient sunscreen on your palm to cover each exposed skin section, particularly hands, back of knees, feet, ears, nose, and face. Rub the sunscreen well in these areas.
- Apply sunscreen on your face almost 15 – 30 minutes before visiting outdoors. Sunscreen needs sufficient time to absorb in your skin.
- You can use sunscreen without any time restriction when you have to go outdoors. Make sure to apply sunscreen even on a cloudy day because almost 80% of the sun’s UV rays may make their way through clouds. You have equal chances to get a sunburn. The ultraviolet rays may bounce back from concrete, snow, sand, and water, so keep yourself protected.
- After every two hours, reapply sunscreen for better protection. Instantly apply it again after sweating or swimming. Try to use the right amount of sunscreen for better security.
Sunscreen and Babies
Your children younger than six months need sunscreen. You can apply it on the face and small areas of the body in the absence of shade of protective clothing.
If your children are over six months, you can apply sunscreen over all their bodies, but carefully apply it to the eyes. If your child rubs it in his/her eyes, carefully wipe his/her eyes and use a damp cloth to clean his/her hand.
If sunscreen is irritated your child’s skin, you should try a different brand or choose a sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Sometimes, the rash develops on sensitive skin; you should talk to your child’s doctor in this situation.
Sunburns: Time to Call A Doctor
If a baby younger than a year gets a sunburn, you have to call his/her doctor immediately. For older kids, you can call their doctor in case of fever, pain, or blistering.
Ideas to Pacify Sunburn
These five methods can help you to ease the discomfort of mild sunburn.
- Replace any fluid loss by giving pure fruit juice or water to your child.
- Make your child feel better by using cold water on his/her skin.
- You can give some child medicines to relieve the pain of sunburns. For a child of six months or younger, choose acetaminophen. If a child is older than six months, you can give ibuprofen or acetaminophen to your child.
- Consult the doctor of your child before buying a medicated lotion for your child.
- Keep your kid away from the sun until his/her sunburn is completely recovered.
Myths About Sun
Myth: Folks with light complexion are at a higher risk of sunburn
Reality: Folks with light hair or pale skin must be extra careful in the sun because they may get sunburn easily as compared to folks with a darker complexion. Sunburn has nothing to do with skin color. Everyone has equal chances to get a sunburn, so everyone must take protective measures to avoid the sun’s harmful rays.
Myth: Suntan has lots of benefits.
Reality: You can’t avoid sunburn in base tanning. It can increase your sunburn chances because it is difficult to stay out in the sun for an extended period. Always remember that a tan means your skin is damaging.
Myth: Skin cancer is common in adults only, so children don’t need sunscreen.
Reality: Several patients with skin cancer are children, teens, young adults, and older people. Excessive sun exposure means many sunburns. It may turn into skin cancer, eye cataracts, and wrinkles in the later years. Skin cancer is common in the USA. As per the cancer society of America, there are over 3.5 million annual cases of skin cancer.
Effects of Indoor Tanning on Teens
Young women and girls visit tanning salons to feel healthier and more attractive. Tanning at salons is extremely dangerous. Tanning beds are designed to replicate the natural sun, and they give off ultraviolet rays. These rays can cause skin cancer and sunburn. Indoor tanning is not suitable for anyone, adults or teens.
This tan may last for a few days. Although, all tanning products have specific side effects, such as irritation and rashes on the skin. You have to keep them away from the mouth, nose, and eyes. Many of these items lack sunscreen, so your skin has no protective layer from the actual sun. If you want to use a sunless tanning product, make sure to accompany it with sunscreen.
Protect Your Eyes from Damages of the Sun
Direct sunlight and reflect UV rays are damaging for human eyes. For instance, water, soil, and grass reflect almost 10% of UV rays, but snow reflects nearly 80% radiation. You may frequently look down instead of looking up, so there will be a difference in reflected UV light effects.
People often think that they can protect themselves by wearing a hat with a brim. It will not protect you from reflected UV rays from water, sand, and pavements. You can use lenses to protect your eyes, such as dark lenses are good for people with light sensitivities.
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