Protect yourself and your tween from skin cancer

Protect yourself and your tween from skin cancer

It's going to be sunny and in the 80s for the next three days here. As tweens and parents alike welcome the summer sunshine, please slather yourself and your tween with sunscreen, wear hats and rock some awesome sunglasses.

Did you know that more cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed this year than cases of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer combined?

You can take steps to keep you and your tween from being one of the 2.8 MILLION cases diagnosed this year.

  1. Use sunscreen that is SPF 30 or more.  Use it every day. Reapply it every 2 hours.  Having even one sunburn ups a person’s chances of getting skin cancer, so avoid those harmful UV rays with sunscreen.  Even if your kid’s ball game is on a shady day, make sure you both wear sunscreen. Click here for tips on selecting the proper sunscreen.
  2. Wear a hat and sunglasses.  Boys can war ball caps, girls have a ton of cute hat options.  Find ones they like, and impress upon them the importance of wearing them.
  3. Have it made in the shade. Seek shade when you can. Consider bringing an umbrella to those athletic fields that don't have a tree in sight.
  4. Talk to your tween about tanning beds, the use of which significantly increase your cancer risk. Nearly 30 million people tan indoors in the U.S. every year; 2.3 million of them are teens.  Illinois law bans the use of tanning facilities by minors under the age of 14.  A proposed ordinance in Chicago would apply the ban to anyone under 18.

I was recently diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, the "good" kind of skin cancer. I’m looking forward to being cancer free after Mohs surgery in a month.  I wish I could say I was looking forward to the resulting scar.

You don’t want your tween to get this, and I’m certain your tween doesn’t want you to have it, either.  Protect yourself.  Please.

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