Secretary Thompson is emphasizing that all Americans should take the
necessary precautions to prevent skin cancer. As Americans begin their
summer vacations and trips it is important to remember to reduce direct
skin exposure to the sun. Americans are encouraged to "choose a cover".
Covers include a sun umbrella, a t-shirt, a hat, sunglasses, and of course
sun block (SPF 15 or higher).
Even a few sunburns can significantly increase your child's risk for skin
cancer down the road. Here are some tips for parents:
Sunscreen comes in a variety of forms - lotions, sprays, wipes, or gels.
Be sure to choose one made especially for kids with Sun Protection Factor
(SPF) of 15 or higher and has both UVA and UVB protection
For most effective protection, apply sunscreen generously 30 minutes
before going outdoors and don't forget to protect ears, noses, lips,
and the tops of feet.
Reapply sunscreen throughout the day, especially after your child swims
or exercises, this also applies to "waterproof" and "water resistant"
Tanned skin is damaged skin. Any change in the color of your child's skin
after time outside - whether sunburn or suntan -
indicates damage from UV rays.
Children still need protection on cloudy or cool days.
UV rays, not the temperature, do the damage. Clouds do not block UV rays,
they filter them.