The Skin Cancer Foundation Journal

MAY 2013

The 2012 edition of The Skin Cancer Foundation Journal features medically reviewed, reader-friendly articles such as tanning, the increasing incidence of skin cancer diagnoses among young women, & the prevalence of melanoma among white males over 50.

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Page 43 of 103

LIFESTYLE SUN PROTECTION FOR INFANTS Baby Skin Requires Extra Diligence JENNIFER LINDER, MD In adults, sunburns are painful, and cause tissue damage that can lead to skin cancer. But in babies, sunburns can be a medical emergency, causing dehydration, high fever, blisters, infections, chills, and heatstroke, not to mention vastly increasing their lifetime skin cancer risk.1 Babies are not only likelier to become seriously ill from sun overexposure, but also more apt to develop sunburns: their sensitive skin contains less melanin, the pigment that gives our hair and eyes their color and offers some sun protection. In short, parents must do everything they can to keep babies safe from sunburn. 42 SUN SAFETY ABCs Shade and Shelter First, infants should be kept out of direct sunlight. Seeking shade between 10 A M and 4 PM, when the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation is most intense, should be a top priority. Trees, awnings, gazebos, covered pavilions, and a long hood or sun umbrella on the baby carriage or stroller all provide varying degrees of shade. Sun-Safe Togs D r essi n g ba bies i n sun-protective clothing is another must: lightweight, breatha b l e lon g-s leeved gowns, one-pieces (coveralls or "onesies," which go from shoulder to foot), or long-sleeved shirts and long pants in bright colors (soft whites and pastels let more light reach the skin) offer excellent protection. Parents should cover the SK I N C A NCER FOU N DAT ION JOU R NA L

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