A Few Fun Facts Regarding Sun Exposure
**Up to 90 percent of the visible changes commonly attributed to aging are caused by the sun.
**Most kids rack up approximately 80% of their lifetime sun exposure before age 18, so it’s important that parents teach their children how to enjoy fun in the sun safely. With the right precautions, you can greatly reduce your child’s chance of developing skin cancer.
** One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime as a result of sun damage.
**UVA rays cause skin aging and wrinkling and contribute to skin cancer, such as melanoma. Because UVA rays pass effortlessly through the ozone layer, they make up the majority of our sun exposure. Beware of tanning beds because they use UVA rays as well as UVB rays. A UVA tan does not help protect the skin from further sun damage; it merely produces color and a false sense of protection from the sun.
**Melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, is thought to be associated with severe UVB sunburns that occur before the age of 20.
**Most sun damage occurs as a result of incidental exposure during day-to-day activities, not at the beach.
**Even on cloudy, cool, or overcast days, UV rays travel through the clouds and reflect off sand, water, and even concrete. Clouds and pollution don’t filter out UV rays, and they can give a false sense of protection. This “invisible sun” can cause unexpected sunburn and skin damage.
**Sunscreen should not be applied to babies under 6 months of age, so they absolutely must be kept out of the sun whenever possible. If your infant must be in the sun, dress him or her in clothing that covers the body, including hats with wide brims to shadow the face. Use an umbrella to create shade.
**Choose a sunscreen that states on the label that it protects against both UVA and UVB rays (referred to as “broad-spectrum” sunscreen). In general, sunscreens provide better protections against UVB rays than UVA rays, making signs of skin aging a risk even with consistent use of sunscreen.
**Ten minutes in a sunbed matches the cancer-causing effects of 10 minutes in the Mediterranean summer sun.