Teach them about sun protection
The biggest cause of skin cancer is the sun. Which means that we have a love / hate relationship with the sun – which we need to teach our kids about. The sun feels very nice and it is actually very healthy; our bodies take in vitamin D from the sun. But on the other hand there is the UV exposure from sunlight which is harmful for our skin. A sunburn at a young age drastically increases the risk of ever getting skin cancer at a later age. That’s because a sunburn is the visual result of the skin cells being damaged, and after that not being able to protect the skin like it could before.
Make sure to start applying sunscreen from the youngest age and teach kis about the importance of re-applying sunscreen every 2 hours when they are in the sun. Of course also apply those rules to yourself to set an example.
Don’t use tanning beds
Many countries have started to set tanning bans for minors. This is because of the fact that tanning beds are pretty dangerous; the UV exposure is very strong and people usually don’t use them while having sunscreen applied – as they want to get tanned instead of protected from the sun. Sadly there have been a lot of misunderstandings about using tanning beds in the past. People did not understand the risk and now face the consequences. The banning of underaged people to tanning salons will improve the awareness around risks – actively educating your kids could help even more.
Being honest about unnatural moles
Early detection of skin cancer is very important. Especially with melanoma skin cancer, the most dangerous form, it’s key to have it diagnosed as it will spread through the body. That means that the earlier it is identified, the more treatment options are available. Therefore it’s important to be honest to yourself about unnatural moles.
When you notice a mole on your body that you are not comfortable with, don’t keep silent about it but speak out as soon as possible to make sure it gets a closer look by a doctor or through self-checking first. For your kids this will need be the same; teach them that it’s never something to be ashamed of to have unnatural skin spots or moles. So that they will come to you or speak out when that’s needed.
Do you have moles you feel uncomfortable with? Do a self-check as a first step and get an instant risk indication. Download the SkinVision app here: