If you start teaching young ones about the risks of sun exposure, they’ll have sun-safe routines set up to take them through life. Getting kids accustomed to protecting themselves against skin cancer isn’t the easiest job, however. Your toddler might scream bloody murder as you ask him to sit still while you rub on sunscreen. Your teen might be pressured by friends to use the tanning bed before prom. You’re going to be hard pressed to get your tween to wear unfashionable sun protective clothing. But starting early with sun protection is so important. Here’s how to get your kids off on the right foot.
Never Let Them Out Without Sunscreen
Even 30 minutes on the preschool playground can damage your little one’s skin. Make sunscreen application part of your morning routine. Apply it on exposed skin before you step out the door, and add another application when you get to school from April to October if you’re in the northern hemisphere. If your child is extremely fair, add that extra layer of protection year round. If your little one throws a tantrum while you're applying sunscreen, at least it's happening in the privacy of your own home. In addition, the more you make it routine, the less likely your child is to fuss about it.
Wear Fashionable Sun Protective Clothing
Some sun protective clothing is ideal for camping and hiking but not for hanging out with friends. Cabana Life has sun protective clothing for everyday occasions. Your child won’t mind pulling on a preppy sun protective dress or zipping up a rashguard over her graphic T-shirt. Even Cabana Life swimsuits are made with 50+ UV protection.
Avoid the Tanning Bed
In the ‘80s and early ‘90s, it was a given that you would go to the tanning salon to get a base tan before spring break or to get your glow before a big dance. Tanning beds are going out of fashion, however. If your teen truly wants to be in style, encourage her to be a leader. She can steer her friends to the spray-tan salon instead of the tanning bed. Anyone who uses a tanning bed before the age of 30 increases his or her risk of melanoma by 75 percent.
It’s no secret that young people are more impressionable than adults who are set in their ways. That’s why it’s so important to get your children on the right path beginning at an early age. When it comes to sun protection, that means inspiring them to develop sun-safe habits that they won’t even consider living without as they grow up.