This guest blog was produced by Cancer Society NZ.
Sunburn now could lead to melanoma skin cancer later in life – no matter what your age or skin type. This is a lesson learnt too late and it can be started early by educating children to become Sunsmart savvy.
The New Zealand lifestyle is all about being outdoors anytime the sun shines. While this is a healthy approach to being active it has a detrimental effect on our skin in the long term – premature skin ageing, wrinkles, sun spots and skin cancers. Including sunscreen as part of a daily routine can help lower the risk of sunburn and cancer.
One approach is to be Sunsmart. This is like a combination fried rice and not just one ingredient that makes the dish. Make sure that you combine the behaviours of being Sunsmart which are a wide brimmed hat, clothing that provides good coverage, sunglasses, sunscreen and shade where possible.
If you’re planning an event it pays to check the weather so you can be prepared whatever the day throws at you. Even on a cloudy day you are at risk of sunburn. MetService is a great place to find out all the weather information you need for boating, camping or just a BBQ.
Be smart this summer and look after you skin – daylight savings means longer time out in the sun and protect yourself especially high UV level times of between 10am to 4pm.
For further information and remember to slip, slop, slap and wrap visit Sunsmart www.sunsmart.org.nz
TIPS FOR PROTECTING CHILDREN FROM THE SUN
Babies and children have sensitive skin, which means they have a higher risk of sunburn and skin damage from the sun’s UV radiation. Exposure to UV radiation during the first 15 years of life greatly increases the risk of developing skin cancer later in life.
1. Avoid sun in the middle of the day. Plan the days activities to reduce your baby’s exposure to the sun, especially between 10am and 4pm from September to April.
2. Dress children in sun smart clothing. Cover as much of your baby’s skin with loose-fitting clothes made from closely-woven fabrics. Choose a hat that protects your baby’s face, neck and ears.
3. Keep little ones in the shade. Encourage children to play in shaded areas. If good natural shade is unavailable consider building a permanent or portable shade structure. The structure should be big enough so that children can play comfortably within the shadow. Provide shade for your baby’s pram and stroller with material that casts a dark shadow.
4. Always use sunscreen. A sunscreen of at least an SPF 30 should be applied exposed skin at least 20 minutes before going outside. Babies under 12 months are best kept in the shade, and sunscreen is only recommended when this is not possible. Always patch test first on baby’s skin before full application. Remember sunscreen is only one part of the Sunsmart message and should be used in conjunction with clothing, hat and shade, where possible.
5. Keep babies out of the sun. Aim to keep babies out of the sun as much as possible especially during the times of peak UVR.
6. Protect your baby/toddler from sunburn in the car. Glass reduces the transmission of most UVR, but not all, therefore your baby will still need protection on long trips in the car. Window shades or tinting provide extra protection.
Cancer Society has an award winning range of SPF 50+ for kiwi kids. Offering very high protection, it is also dermatologically approved, dry touch & 4hrs water resistance.
STAY SAFE IN THE SUN
NZ has harsh UVA/UVB rays & Cancer Society Sunscreens are made to help protect against the NZ sun but there are many more things you can do to stay safe.
For information on staying sunsmart http://sunsmart.org.nz/being-sunsmart
The Cancer Society of NZ has a range of SPF 50+ very high protection sunscreen, loaded with great features. Make sure you apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes before you and the kids head outside and re-apply every 2 hours if exercising or swimming.