Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer and is thought to account for half of all cancers. Although children are not commonly diagnosed with skin cancer, it is during childhood that much of one’s lifetime sun exposure occurs and when important protective behaviors can be established.
While sunlight on unprotected skin is bad, it is even more important to avoid sunburns. Sunburns in early life are the single most important, preventable factor for the development of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer.
Below are a few tips from the American Cancer Society
- Limit the amount of time you spend in direct sun, especially when the sun’s rays are most intense, generally from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- Wear protective clothing when you’re out in the sun, including long sleeves; sunglasses; and a hat that shades your face, neck, and ears.
- Wear sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher on all skin that isn’t covered.
- Protect your skin even on cool or cloudy days.
The American Cancer Society also promotes early detection of skin cancer in adults through regular skin self-exams, and an examination for skin cancer should be part of periodic health exams.
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