Why a new family rule?
Navigating how to keep your kids safe is a big responsibility. Some rules are non-negotiable: seat belts in the car, helmets for biking, life-jackets for boating and staying off the road. Other rules seem a bit more flexible and as parents we find ourselves giving a little leeway here and there: jumping on the bed and not worrying about proper sun protection.
Unfortunately, our sometimes casual attention to protecting our kids from the sun is misguided. Sun protection is important because the consequences of not protecting your child’s skin are serious.
Most people are not aware that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in Canada, accounting for nearly the same number of new cancer cases as lung, breast, colorectal and prostate cancer cases combined. And while the incidence of most cancers is decreasing, the incidence of melanoma, the deadliest skin cancer, is increasing.
Sun protection is important for the whole family but especially for children. Did you know that skin damage from the sun is permanent? Did you now that one severe sunburn in childhood doubles your chances of getting melanoma? Were you aware that babies are particularly vulnerable, requiring extra protection from the sun?
The good news is that the majority of melanoma cases can be prevented. Since sun/UV exposure is the primary cause of melanoma and other skin cancers, the best way to reduce your child’s risk is to protect their skin.
It’s time to make sun protection your #newfamilyrule.