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Teaching Your Kids

Sun safety is critical for families. Taking charge means keeping them safe from the sun’s harmful rays and helping to prevent skin cancer. Parents are in the unique position to convey health information directly to their children and thus influence their sun safety habits in healthy ways. There are many things you can do to teach your kids how to be sun safe and to help keep your family protected from skin cancer:

Removing Obstacles

Protecting you and your family from the sun's dangerous rays is generally easy, but there are some barriers that people encounter. Don't let one of these obstacles prevent you from practicing great sun safety in your home.

Some people have allergic reactions to sunscreens. Generally, people's allergic reactions are not to the active ingredients but rather to the additives that make the product smell and feel a certain way. Most people who have allergic reactions to sunscreen find that by trying a few other brands (for example, hypoallergenic sunscreens) they are able to find one that works for them.

Sunglasses, hats, shade structures and sunscreen all cost money, but the costs can be kept to a minimum. Save money by purchasing sunscreen in larger bulk-size bottles. Sunglasses and hats do not have to be fancy brand names. From a protection standpoint, sunglasses that are labeled as blocking 99-100% UV are all the same. And cheaper hats are just as effective as long as they are either wide-brimmed (3" or bigger) or ball-cap style with a long flap in the back and made of densely-woven fabrics and dark colors to increase the sun-blocking characteristics of your hat. You can also look for UPF labeling on hats and other clothing as a guide.

Some people say their kids will not wear sunglasses or hats because they do not like the way they look. If this is the case, make sure that you are wearing hats and sunglasses as a role model and talk to the parents of your children’s friends. Encourage them to have their kids wear hats and sunglasses, too. They will be safer and your own children will not feel like they are the only ones staying protected.

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