Children’s skin is very sensitive to UV radiation and needs to be protected

Getting sunscreen on small children can be a daunting task – between protests that “you’re tickling me” as you try to apply it to their neck, worrying you’ve missed a spot and realizing, after they open the door have run out , you forgot to do their ears.

And yet, it’s vital that parents and caregivers adopt the sun’s smart message and protect children’s skin, especially from now until the end of September, when the intensity of sunscreen-producing ultraviolet radiation (UV) is at its peak. Children’s skin is very sensitive to UV radiation.

“Sunburn during childhood increases the risk of developing skin cancer in adulthood. If your child has a severe sunburn more than three times before the age of 20, the risk of developing skin cancer as an adult more than doubles,” said Dr. Triona McCarthy, public health consultant, HSE National Cancer Control Program (NCCP). She points to recent findings from the Institute of Public Health in Ireland that nearly 90% of 10 to 17-year-olds report experiencing a sunburn in their lifetime.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in Ireland – more than 13,000 cases are diagnosed here each year, twice as many as 10 years ago, and this number is expected to more than double by 2045. “In dermatology, almost half of the work we do is related to skin cancer. cancer – yet it is one of the most preventable cancers,” said Professor Anne-Marie Tobin, dermatologist and clinical chief of HSE in dermatology, who had attended two weeks of skin clinics at the time of the interview where, shockingly enough, half of the patients who came in for assessment for skin cancer were sunburnt.

It is important to educate the public that most people living in Ireland are fair-skinned, who burn easily and tan poorly, so they are particularly vulnerable to UV damage and skin cancer.

The Irish Skin Foundation and Dr. Sinead Field, consultant dermatologist at University Hospital Limerick, in partnership with NCCP, University of Limerick Hospital Group and the Healthy Ireland SunSmart campaign, have launched a series of five video animations to encourage people to incorporate SunSmart behaviors into their daily routines. routine. Posts throughout the series highlight key skin cancer prevention behaviors, focusing primarily on four priority groups identified in the 2019-2022 National Skin Cancer Prevention Plan: children and youth, outdoor workers, those who participate in outdoor leisure activities, and tanning bed users.

The videos encourage people to follow the SunSmart 5 Ss: slip-on clothing that covers the skin; Slop on sunscreen; Slap on wide-brimmed hat; Find shade; Slide on sunglasses.

Watch videos/learn more about being SunSmart and on the SunSmart hub

Be SunSmart – follow the 5 S’s:

Wear clothing that covers the skin, e.g. long sleeves, t-shirts with collars Apply sunscreen to exposed areas: SPF 30+ for adults, 50+ for children Flip on wide-brimmed hat Seek shade. Always use a sunscreen on the stroller Slide the sunglasses on to protect the eyes

To remember:

In Ireland, UV radiation levels are high in April-September, even when it is cloudy. Stay safe – limit time in the sun when UV radiation is strongest (11am-3pm). Don’t try to tan intentionally – tanned skin is damaged skin. Avoid sunburn. Never use a sunbed.

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