Today, Dr. Herzog reminds parents that we still need to take measures to protect our kids from the sun even though summer is officially over. She also shares wonderful advice on getting your child’s school on board with your efforts.
Dr. Jo Herzog
I just read a short newsletter that was sent out by the Skin Cancer Foundation and thought that the message was important enough to repeat the main points for all of us.
Just because the summer is over, the sun has not stopped shining. In fact , it seems as fierce as ever out there. We need to remember this when sending our kids to school, because they are not all locked up in a building from sunrise to sunset. Some walk to school, wait for the bus, or participate in outdoor activities – before, during, and after school. Most of us did a great job protecting our kids at the pool, but what about now?
We need to continue safe sun practices with our children now that school has started, but that might be easier said than done. If we could apply sunscreen before school (at least SPF 15 is recommender by Skin Cancer Foundation; I recommend SPF 30), send a hat for outdoor time, and send sunglasses with UV protection of 99% or better, our children would be off to a good start.
Once at school, re-applying sunscreen before going out to PE (especially if between 10AM and 2PM) would be great, but some schools will not allow this. If you aren’t sure of your school’s policy on sunscreen, it would be wise to check before sending anything to school with your child. If you want to ensure that your child has permission to take sunscreen to school and apply it at certain times, click here to download a sun protection form from The Skin Cancer Foundation, and have your doctor sign it. Taking this to your child’s school and giving to the appropriate staff member might be your best bet for getting your school on board in helping you keep your child protected during the school year.
Remember that good habits start at a young age and that a bad sunburn in childhood increases the risk of developing melanoma as an adult. Although it takes a little bit of effort on the part of both parent and child, it is good medicine to protect against sun damage and skin cancer.