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Sunscreen In Winter – Why It’s Key for Kids

Even when wearing SkiBanz goggles, exposed skin needs sunscreen protection

During the cold and dreary winter months, most Kiwis are looking forward to the return of sunshine and warm weather. What most families aren’t thinking about is sunscreen usage โ€“ or protecting their children from the harsh ultraviolet rays that are beaming down on us year round.

A mere one in four U.S kids use sunscreen regularly, notes a recent study published in ‘Pediatrics’ (sign-in required for access). And adolescents who get sunburned at an early age are twice as likely to develop melanoma, a common type of skin cancer, later in life, according to the study. It’s likely that New Zealand outcomes would tell the same tale.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. The New Zealand Cancer Society says: “Skin cancer is largely preventable. Over 90% of all skin cancer cases are attributed to excess sun exposure.” Read on to discover when and how to protect yourself and your kids.

Not just for summer months

Just because the sun isn’t beating down doesn’t mean its damaging rays aren’t making their way through the clouds.

Dr. Joanna Gammons, a dermatologist at U.S-based Gammons Wellness and Dermatology, says many people have misconceptions about the necessity of protecting their skin during the winter months.

“A lot of people say you don’t need to wear it because there’s no sun, but you absolutely need to,” Gammons says. She adds that rays that are damaging to the skin โ€“ and can cause skin cancers โ€“ still get through.

As almost 80 percent of UV radiation is reflected from snow, while only 25 percent from sand, the need for sunscreen protection on the mountain is clear – and especially so for children’s delicate skin.

Rugged up against the cold – and the sun’s rays – including Banz stay-put sunglasses!

Protect your kids year round

Experts recommend that parents find a formula that agrees with their child’s skin, is gentle and PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid)-free. Try a stick-style sunscreen, instead of liquid, on children’s faces as it is less likely to run into their eyes.

Encourage your kids to develop a sunscreen habit early on in life, because from birth to 30 years old, we’re most prone to skin damage. As Gammon says, “It’s all about education.”

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