Families are officially back to school. Now that parents have caught up with buying school supplies, the product that many often forget to buy during this busy time of year is sunscreen.
Just because the kiddos aren’t taking their daily swim anymore, parents should not be quick to take sunscreen off the shopping list just yet.
The sun’s UV rays can damage skin in as little as 15 minutes—and yes, that especially applies to children during school recess times. Exposure to the sun can add up, and too much exposure on unprotected skin can lead to cancer.
That’s the advice from Laura Way, a Tempe-based certified physician assistant who specializes in treating sun-damaged skin.
A few tips include:
Turn it into a routine. When sunscreen application becomes part of your own and your family’s morning routine, just like washing your face or brushing your teeth, it lays the foundation for the skin’s protection. Whether you are running errands or walking your children to school, your skin will be protected and it will minimize the chances of getting cancer.
Protect everything. Once you’ve applied sunscreen, there are places that you might not think to slather, such as the back of the neck, the tops of the ears, the eyelids and the arm holes around your shirt. Make sure you apply sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) everywhere from your toes to your ears, and even your lips (SPF 15 or higher).
Accessorize. Wear lightweight clothing that covers your entire body. A wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses will help minimize sun exposure, especially while walking to bus stops or headed out to pick up the kids in the late afternoon.
Way works at Desert Grove Family Medical, part of Steward Medical Group. The practice is at 1492 S. Mill Ave., Tempe.