Protect kids from sun exposure during school hours

Whether they just started or are about to go back, here are some sun safety tips to make sure kids stay protected when they are outside for fall sports, recess and physical education classes. 
When shopping for back-to-school supplies, make sure to stop by the sunscreen aisle. Children in elementary school usually have outdoor recess between 10am and 2pm, when the sun is especially intense. Just one severe sunburn in childhood doubles the chances of developing melanoma later in life. So, while preparing for school, make sure to remind children about the importance of applying sunscreen and seeking the shade when outdoors.
The sun’s ultraviolet rays don’t go away when the summer is over, says Perry Robins, MD, president of The Skin Cancer Foundation. “Children spend a great deal of time outdoors throughout the school year walking to and from school, and during recess, after-school sports and field trips,” he said. “We encourage children to develop a year-round sun protection regimen to lower their risk of developing skin cancer later in life.”
Although sunscreen is an essential part of a complete sun-protection program, check with administrators before sending children to school with a bottle. Many schools prohibit students from bringing in sunscreen and some require a doctor’s prescription. Others not only allow sunscreen but may provide it for student use.
• No matter what the rules are at school, it is important to remember that sun safety begins at home. Dress children in sun-protective clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses that block 99 percent or more of ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
• Apply broad-spectrum, SPF 15+ sunscreen to exposed skin every morning.
• If permitted by your school, teach children to reapply sunscreen before going outdoors for physical education, recess or after-school sports. For extra outdoor protection, kids should use an SPF 30+ sunscreen.
• Teach kids to look for shaded areas in which to play.
• Protect yourself and lead by example.

More Information

SkinCancer.org

Safety

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