Did you know that children get almost 50% of their UV radiation exposure before they turn 20, yet nearly majority 61% of parents do not know how to properly protect their child from the sun?
This is based on a study by SunWise, the first non-profit sun protection campaign in Singapore that raises awareness among parents to encourage early adoption of proper sun protection habits for their primary school children.
SunWise is a campaign as part of a final year project from students from the Wee Kim Wee School of Information and Communication in the Nanyang Technological University.
Let us share their findings about sun protection, and also 4 myths about sunscreen that you never knew!
Why is Sun Protection For Kids Important?
- Singapore has one of the highest UV indexes in the world.
- Kids get exposed to around 50% of their life-time's UV radiation by the time they hit 20 (think about how often they are out in the sun now, vs adults)
- Overexposure can increase risk of health conditions later in life, including
- Pigmentation and premature aging of skin
- Skin Cancer
Did You Know There Are 2 Types of UV Rays?
To protect us from the UVA (causes tanning) and the UVB (causes sunburn), we need to choose the right sunscreen and the apply them properly!
In case you can't see the image above,
- Look out for sunscreen with PA+++ sign as it protects against the UVA rays
- Use an SPF 30 sunscreen to protect against UVB
- There is no waterproof sunscreen, but you can use water-resistant ones
For the best protection against the sun, remember to apply sunscreen daily, on all exposed area of the skin, 15 mins before leaving the house, and to reapply every 2 hours!
4 Common Sunscreen Protection Myths Debunked
- Kids are so young won't get skin cancer one la!
But if you don't take care now, you are increasing their future risk of skin cancer.
- Must have Vitamin D than will be healthy!
It's true that getting enough Vitamin D is important but try doing that in the mornings and not at 12 noon when it gets really hot.
- Sunburn only, will heal and no problem after that!
Studies have shown that childhood sunburns can increase the risk of melanoma (type of cancer) later. Protect now, for the future.
- Must be higher the SPF the better!
Increasing the SPF does increases the degree of protection, but at about SPF 30 the protection level starts to taper off, and at 50 to 100, the difference is negligible. For Singapore, a sunscreen with SPF 30 is sufficient.
We definitely did not expect #4! Tell us what you think or how else have you practice sun protection for your kids. Let us know in the comments below!