Doctors advise how to prevent melanoma, starting at a young age

Sep 6, 2022, 10:11 AM | Updated: 11:13 am

Doctors warn we shouldn’t get too lax, even during the cooler times of the year, when it comes to protecting our skin from the sun.

Utah has the highest Melanoma rates in the country. Doctor Yelena Wu with Huntsman Cancer Institute said preventing sunburns in childhood is the one thing we can do to prevent melanoma later in life.

For many parents, getting your child to wear sunscreen is a constant battle.

“There’s no one size fits all I think that fits everyone,” Wu said. PhD. “One thing is to set each family member or each family up for success.”

First, make it a habit. Get kids to slather on sunscreen as part of their everyday routine.

Second, keep a bag filled with sun safety supplies right next to the door – things like UV protective clothing, or hats – so you can grab it on your way out.

Third, reward them and give them an incentive or praise.

Fourth, set a good example and apply sunscreen so kids are more open to trying it out.

Fifth, make it fun.

“If you want them to apply sunscreen, give them a choice. Do you want this sunscreen or this sunscreen? Or have them go to the store with you and have them pick out the one they think smells the best,” Wu said.

Keep in mind, that sunscreen should be applied about 30 minutes before heading outside.

Sunscreen should be reapplied at least every 2-hours or more, especially if you’re in the water or sweating.

Make sure you have enough. About an ounce is all you need to cover the whole body so pack enough if you’ll be out all day. Wu recommends all kids wear sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher. That blocks out about 97-percent of the harmful rays of the sun.

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Doctors advise how to prevent melanoma, starting at a young age