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Starting kids early

Published January 14th, 2016

Today Dr. Bilu Martin spoke to third graders at the Aventura City of Excellence School (ACES) for career day about skin and how to take care of it.  While it's great for kids to learn smart sun protection habits early, sometimes adults need a little reminder, too!  Remember, excessive sun exposure causes brown spots/sunspots, wrinkles, broken blood vessels, pre-cancerous spots and most importantly, skin cancer.  Here are the tips Dr. Bilu Martin shared with the kids:

1. WEAR SUNSCREEN!  Every. single. Day.  Even if it's cloudy or rainy out, as the UV rays can pass through clouds.  Even if you are "only driving around" because the UV rays also pass through car windshields.  A good sunscreen is broad spectrum (blocks UVA and UVB rays), is at least an SPF 30, and contains physical blocks- titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.  At Premier Dermatology, MD, we love EltaMD and Skinceuticals sunblock. 

2. REAPPLY SUNSCREEN.  Every two hours, and after swimming or excessive sweating.

3. USE ENOUGH SUNSCREEN.  A teaspoon full for the face, and a shotglass full for the body.  That's a lot of sunscreen!  If using a chemical sunscreen, it should be applied 30 minutes before heading outside, so that it can be absorbed into the skin.  Physical sunblocks can be applied right before going outside.

4. AVOID THE SUN DURING PEAK HOURS.  Try to spend time outdoors before 10 am and after 4 pm.  UV rays are stronger and more damaging between 10 and 4.

5. SEEK SHADE.  Trees and umbrellas are our friends.  Try to play and have activities in the shade.

6. WEAR SUN PROTECTIVE CLOTHING.  Sunglasses are important to shield eyes from UV damage.  Hats should be worn, but they need to have a brim that extends out over ears and the neck for full protection.  Sun protective clothing (shirts, pants, long-sleeve swimsuits) should have an UPF (ultraviolet light protective factor) of 50.  

Teach your kids to develop safe sun habits early.  Prevention and early detection saves lives!

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