Do you think you and your family apply sunscreen at the appropriate times and in the appropriate amount? If you think you do, you might want to rethink your answer and make sure you have all of the facts. According to a recent survey commissioned by NO-AD of moms with children 18 or under, correct use of sunscreen isn’t as common as you would think.
The survey found that nearly two in 10 moms (17%) were unaware that, after their initial slathering of sunscreen, they needed to reapply after extended exposure. The survey also revealed that fewer than half of moms (48%) know the correct amount of sunscreen they need to apply to the face and body while at the pool, lake, or beach. More than half of moms surveyed (54%) thought that the proper time to apply sunscreen is as soon as they start feeling their skin burning (which is NOT the proper time, in case you were wondering). And nearly 2 in 10 (17%) confessed that their reason for not reapplying sunscreen was that they wanted a tan — this, despite widespread warnings about the dangers of skin cancer from unprotected exposure.
So what are the correct answers to those questions? Well to start with, apply sunscreen 15 to 20 minutes BEFORE going out in the sun and reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating. How much should you use? A golf ball-sized amount (1 oz.), and that’s for every time you apply or reapply sunscreen. You should also use broad-spectrum, at least SPF 30 and water-resistant to help protect from UVA and UVB rays. And if you use a spray-on sunscreens it MUST be rubbed into the skin to be effective.
With all that said, why should we care? Quite simply because sun’s UV rays can cause melanoma skin cancer. Think that it’s not very likely that YOU would get it? Listen to these sobering stats from The American Academy of Dermatology.
- On average, 1 person dies from melanoma every hour.
- 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
- Research shows women are 9 times more likely than men to notice melanoma on others.
- Nearly 9,500 Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer each day.
- The five-year survival rate for melanoma when detected and treated in its early stages is 98%.
May is Melanoma Awareness Month and a good time to start prioritizing your skin and body health. I don’t know about you, but I’m sure going to do my best to make sure my family is protected through the appropriate use of sunscreen this summer.
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Disclaimer: I have teamed up with NO-AD in support of this campaign. We received compensation for participation in this campaign. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.