Vicki Herrman, M.D.
During the summer, families enjoy more time outside relaxing on vacations or enjoying activities like picnics, sport events, parks and amusement rides. While some sun helps with vitamin D absorption, repeated and unprotected exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays are harmful. Boys Town Pediatrics provides sun awareness guidelines to protect your family from the sun.
The sun radiates light, consisting of invisible rays that break through the Earth’s ozone layer and reach our skin. The UVA/UVB rays can cause premature skin, sunburns and cataracts; affect the immune system and contribute to skin cancers like melanoma. With melanoma rates among adolescents currently on the rise, research shows the increase is related to the amount of UV exposure children experience during childhood. In the United States alone, melanoma has more than doubled in the past four decades.
Unprotected sun exposure is even more dangerous for kids with moles, very fair skin and hair and a family history of skin-related problems. Take the necessary sun exposure precautions below to protect your family. Whenever possible, try to avoid:
Stress the importance of sun safety with your family. Take the necessary precautions before heading out and enjoy your vacation and recreation time knowing you have the knowledge to protect your family’s time in the sun!