Proper sun protection, especially before age 18, is very important to Dr. Gross. It is the most effective way to prevent skin cancer. Dr. Gross stresses the “ABC’s” of safe fun in the sun, here below.
Avoid the midday sun—from 10 am to 4 pm—when the sun’s rays are the strongest. Avoid tanning beds. Tanning beds cause as much skin damage as sunlight.
Block the sun by applying a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or greater while outdoors. Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours and after swimming or sweating. Babies as young as 6 months old should wear sunscreen. Remember: Sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before going outdoors.
Cover up with a broad–brimmed hat or visor, sunglasses and sun-protective clothing. Nothing works better than clothing because it never washes or sweats off. Special sun protective clothing is lightweight and makes people feel cooler than wearing short sleeves, shorts, or going shirtless.
Keep infants under 6 months of age out of direct sunlight and in the shade. Use an umbrella or pull the canopy over your baby’s stroller. Using sunscreen at this age is much safer than getting a sunburn, but keeping your baby out of the sunlight is your best choice.