Shielding Kids From the Sun Isn’t Just About Sunscreen - Toronto Dermatology Centre
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Shielding Kids From the Sun Isn’t Just About Sunscreen

Mother applying sun cream on her daughter's back

Experts say other steps should include seeking shade, avoiding the most intense hours of sun exposure and wearing hats and clothing to protect the skin.

We have come to the time of year when everyone needs to be reminded about the daily duty of considering the sun.

“We don’t want people to just stay inside,” said Dr. Lawrence F. Eichenfield, a professor of dermatology and pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego and Rady Children’s Hospital. “We know that sun can have harmful effects including increasing the risk of skin cancer, sunburn, aging of skin — sun protection makes sense.”

Dr. Miriam Weinstein, a pediatric dermatologist at SickKids (The Hospital for Sick Children) in Toronto, and an associate professor of pediatrics and medicine at the University of Toronto, said: “We know from research that much of a lifetime of sun exposure occurs in childhood.” But the outcomes that we’re trying to prevent, whether carcinogenesis or just sun-related aging of the skin, occur much later in life, and trying to change behaviors is more difficult, she said, when a bad outcome seems remote.

Many parents are also familiar with recent reports about the possibility that chemicals in sunscreens may be absorbed into the bloodstream.

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