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What kids should know about how to prevent skin cancer

If you start protecting yourself from the sun now, you'll be glad you did when you get older. Your skin will look better and have fewer wrinkles and brown spots. Plus, you'll be less likely to get skin cancer.

What can you do to protect your skin? It's simple:

  • Seek shade when the sun is really strong. The sun's rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Another good rule of thumb is to look at your shadow. If it's shorter than you are, seek shade.

  • Wear sun-protective clothing. Such as a lightweight and long-sleeved shirt, pants, a hat with a wide brim that goes all the way around the hat, and sunglasses with UV protection to protect your eyes. For more effective sun protection, select clothing with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) label.

  • Always slather on sunscreen. No excuses. Ask your parents to get a sunscreen that says these 3 things on the label: Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 30, broad spectrum, and water resistant. When your outdoors, you'll need to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours, even on cloudy days and always after swimming or sweating.

  • Be careful around water, sand, and snow. These things reflect, making the damaging rays of the sun stronger. You're more likely to get a sunburn.

  • Stay away from tanning beds. Like the sun, tanning beds can cause skin cancer and wrinkled skin.