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10085 Red Run Boulevard
Suite 201
Owings Mills, MD 21117


410-363-1843
410-363-3027

Sun Safety

Teens are under enormous pressure to dress, talk, and look a certain way. Sometimes, no matter how much they know about the dangers of tanning, they'll still seek a tan in order to conform.

If your teen must be tan, teach him or her about self-tanners. New self-tanning lotions and creams can duplicate a natural glow without exposing you to harmful UV rays. They've improved immensely over the past few years and won't turn you orange anymore. But remember, a self-tanner must always be used along with a sunscreen.

Your teen should know that being tan does not mean being healthy. Did you know most people get 80% of their lifetime sun exposure in the first 18 years of life?  Make sunscreen application part of his or her daily routine. Keep the sunscreen out in the open in the bathroom, next to the toothpaste, as a physical reminder. If your kid is involved in after-school sports, make sure a bottle of sunscreen is always in his equipment bag. Most physical education classes in school take place outside when the weather permits, as does recess, so make sure your kid keeps a bottle of sunscreen in her regular locker or gym locker.

Teens might also balk at other sun protection measures. If your teen complains that the beach hat makes him look stupid, take him shopping and let him pick out one he likes. If your teen complains that nobody else has to wear a dress to the beach, let her choose fun sarongs to go with a colorful matching hat. Luckily, few teens complain about having to wear sunglasses. Let them choose a pair they like, provided they provide UV protection.

Sun safety doesn't condemn you to life indoors. If you love the beach, go early or late in the day, when the sun's rays are less intense. Take a supply of sunscreen that has an SPF of 15 or greater. Wear attractive sun-protective clothing and a wide-brimmed hat, and carry a beach umbrella. And don't forget sunglasses to protect your eyes.

The most important thing to remember when thinking about sun protection is this: you are your children's role model. Be sure to let them see you protecting yourself from the sun. If you have great skin, so will they.

Learn how to protect yourself in the sun by visiting: KidsHealth.org