I concur with “Slathering on Sunscreen Early and Often”, by Rutledge Forney, MD
Today, the New York Times has a piece up about the importance of teaching families to apply sunscreen to their children every time they’re outdoors. Research has shown that up to 80% of a person’s lifetime sun damage occurs during childhood. In Australia, they have a “no hat, no play” policy (which you know I love!) and they’re the first country to show a reduction in skin cancer.
Look, melanoma is one of the most preventable forms of skin cancer. I implore you to apply a shot-glass sized amount of broad-spectrum, waterproof sunscreen (minimum 30SPF) to yourself and each of your family members every time you go outside. Make it a habit. Keep a hat in the car or diaper bag – keep an extra hat in the trunk! Moms have a lot on their plate already. You can teach your toddlers to apply it themselves – just make sure you help them with the hard-to-reach spots and remember the ears and back of the neck.
“Unless sun protection practices are established early in life as inviolable habits, akin to using seat belts in a vehicle, children become increasingly lax as they get older about preventing sunburns that can lead to life-threatening cancers decades later. In a study of 360 fifth graders over three years, Alan C. Geller, director of melanoma epidemiology at Massachusetts General Hospital, and his colleagues found that as the children moved into adolescence, the proportion who “often or always” used sunscreen declined to 25 percent from 50 percent.”
Read more about the studies, the science, and what you can do here: Slathering on Sunscreen Early and Often.