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“A regular skin checkup can literally save your life.” Jennifer Krasnoff, MD

Though your kids may have packed away their camp T-shirt and closed the lemonade stand, the end of summer vacation does not mean the end of sun exposure and damage. Its damaging rays are always overhead, penetrating the atmosphere and contributing to premature aging, eye damage and skin cancers. The US Dept. of Health and Human Services and World Health Organization has identified UV as a proven human carcinogen.

UVA radiation which composes up to 95 % of the UV radiation reaching the earth, is emitted in about equal intensity during all daylight hours, all year long and can penetrate clouds and glass.

UVB radiation, the main cause of skin reddening and sunburn, plays a key role in skin cancer and contributes to tanning and aging. UVB can burn and damage your skin all year long, especially at high altitudes and on reflective surfaces such as snow or ice.

Why kids are at greater risk of sun damage

From late morning recess, to lunchtime on the playground, after school and weekend sports practice, kids are constantly absorbing the sun’s rays. In fact 80% of total lifetime sun exposure occurs before age 18, according to the National Institutes of Health – and this exposure causes problems over time. Even a short run around the blacktop in midday sun can result in a burn – and studies show that childhood sunburn is liked to higher incidence of malignant melanoma later in life.

Keep in mind the added risk that on kids’ relatively small bodies, any sun damage will take up a relatively greater surface area as compared with an adult.

What you can do:

  • Send your child off to school in a wide-brimmed hat that will cover face, neck and ears, and shirts in densely woven, bright or dark fabrics. Choose long sleeves and dark pants whenever possible. Read our Sun Smart article to find sun protective clothing brands and more ideas.
  • Protect eyes as well with a cool looking pair of sunglasses. Cumulative sun exposure can damage the eye’s membrane and lead to cataracts (blurred vision) later in life. Sunglasses come in lots of styles for kids – just make sure they offer 100% UV protection.
  • Apply a golf ball-sized portion of sunscreen every morning (about 1 ounce) to all exposed areas of skin, including tops of hands and feet, at least 30 minutes before children go outside and ideally every two hours while outdoors. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that all kids – regardless of their skin tone – wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Read our Sunscreen How To for more information. 
  • Educate your teen on the dangers of tanning beds. Both UVA and UVA/UVB tanning beds produce sunburn, increasing the risk of skin cancer, particularly melanoma, the most deadly form of the disease. Those who use tanning booths before the age of 35 face an increased risk of acquiring the disease. Read about California’s ban on tanning booths.
  • Launch a sun awareness campaign and shade plan at your school with this guide from the Centers for Disease Control, Association of State Boards of Education and American Academy of Dermatology.
  • Share cool interactive games, tools and trivia with your kids on the EPA’s Sun Wise Kids site. 
  • Find great resources on our Sun Protective Clothing page
  • Learn more about how to protect kids from sun damage
 


 

 

 

Petaluma Office
165 Lynch Creek Way
Petaluma, CA 94954
 M-F, 8:00am-5:00pm
(707) 762-5531
Fax: (707) 762-5976

 

 

Hercules Office
500 Alfred Nobel Dr., Ste. 245
Hercules, CA 94547
M-F, 8:00am-5:00pm
Open Saturday for aesthetic services
 (510) 741-7418
Fax: (510) 741-7456

 

Billing office
510-741-7299
Fax: 510- 741-7493

 


At Dermatology Associates of the Bay Area, our board-certified dermatologists serve patients at our Petaluma and Hercules offices. We are committed to the highest standards, and we offer a full range of cosmetic, medical, and surgical dermatology procedures, as well as quality skin care products.

Dermatology Associates of the Bay Area
165 Lynch Creek Way | Petaluma, California 94954 | Phone: (707) 762-5531 | Fax: (707) 762-5976
500 Alfred Nobel Drive, Suite 245 | Hercules, California 94547 | Phone: (510) 741-7418 | Fax: (510) 741-7456