March has arrived, meaning local Arizona residents are looking forward to 70-80 degree weather. Spring doesn’t last long in Arizona, so locals will often cherish every moment of this short season before the inevitable heat waves come in. Family reunions, picnics, hiking—residents will take every chance to spend some time outside this month. And they’ll wrongly assume that because it’s not summer yet, they don’t need sunscreen.
UV rays, or ultraviolet radiation, are present in sunlight and can greatly damage the DNA of skin cells. Many make the mistake of assuming they don’t need sunscreen during spring, fall, and winter months because they can’t get sunburnt. While UV rays are strongest during the summer, they’re still significantly strong during the spring. That’s what sunscreen protects you from.
Ultraviolet radiation is the number one cause of skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer and the American Cancer Society estimates 96,480 new melanomas will be diagnosed in 2019 — 57,220 in men and 39,260 in women. Approximately 7,230 people are expected to die from melanoma – 4,740 men and 2490 women.
Melanoma is the most common skin cancer in children. Around 7% of cancer in children ages 15 to 19 are melanomas.
Your child may be tempted to run out the door to enjoy the fresh air. However, your child can still have fun in the sun, all while protecting their skin.
- SPF: sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 will block 97% of UV rays
- Areas: apply sunscreen to exposed areas such as the face, ears, back of neck, hands, and top of head (if shaved)
- Frequency: reapply sunscreen every two hours when you or your child are outside
Do you believe your child has skin damage? Request an appointment with Pediatrix today and keep your child safe and healthy.