May 24, 2019
KIMBERLY, Wis. – As temperatures rise and people spend more time outdoors, it’s important to remember that sunscreen is a necessity to protect kids and adults from sunburn and skin cancer.
“Kids especially should always wear sunscreen while having fun in the sun,” said Dr. Rebecca Doro, a family practice physician at ThedaCare Physicians-Kimberly. “There are also options of protective clothing like a shirt made of cotton or special UV-blocking fabric that can be better than sunscreen because it doesn’t wear off.”
Using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 or higher is best. That means the wearer would have 30 times the protection against the sun’s rays than if they used nothing. Protection from the sun is important because burns early in life increase the risk of skin cancer later.
Additionally, parents may want to consider a sunscreen specific to children or one containing minerals such as zinc oxide, which acts more as a physical barrier against the sun than some adult sunscreens. It is important to note some of those contain oxybenzone, which absorbs UV light but can aggravate skin allergies or have potential hormonal effects in the body.
“Babies should avoid exposure to the sun altogether,” Dr. Doro said. “Infants under six months should be kept out of direct sunlight as much as possible. You can use a small amount of sunscreen if you can’t avoid the sun. Having a wide-brimmed hat, umbrella and place where your kids can get out of the sun are also important.”
Parents should apply sunscreen to children about 30 minutes before they go outside, and reapply about every two hours. Water resistant sunscreens are best even when kids aren’t swimming because regular sunscreens can come off with sweat, Dr. Doro said.
“Adults also should use sunscreens of SPF 30 or higher,” said Dr. Doro. “They should wear it even for short trips outside, particularly if they have a family history of skin cancer.”
“If we teach our children to always wear sunscreen when they’re young, it will set up good habits for the future,” she said. “We hope that ultimately leads to less skin cancer diagnoses.”
For more than 110 years, ThedaCare® has been committed to finding a better way to deliver serious and complex healthcare to patients throughout Northeast and Central Wisconsin. The organization serves a community of more than 600,000 residents and employs more than 6,700 healthcare professionals throughout the regions. ThedaCare has seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, Waupaca, Shawano, New London and Wild Rose as well as 31 clinics in nine counties. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving our specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a non-profit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs as well as a foundation dedicated to community service.
Media should call Cassandra Wallace, Public Relations Specialist at 920.442.0328 or the ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah switchboard at 920.729.3100 and ask for the marketing person on call.