Healthy Kids    

Should my child wear sunscreen every day?

Dr. Janet Sullivan of Hudson Health Plan gives us the answer

Sunscreen protects people from both sunburns and the sun damage that accumulates over a lifetime causing brown spots, wrinkles and skin cancer. But sunscreen can also be expensive, it exposes us to other chemicals, and it increases our need for vitamin D. 

If you or your child burn easily or are sensitive to sunlight, apply sunscreen on sun-exposed skin every day. If you are not sensitive to the sun and you work indoors, you may only need sunscreen when you are out for longer periods of time. Children who sunburn easily are at greater risk for sun-induced skin damage, and I recommend they use sunscreen every day. 

     Besides sunscreen, it is important for everyone – not just children – to work and play smart in the sun: avoid sunburns, wear a hat with a brim, wear long sleeves shirts and long pants, look for shade or come inside around mid-day when the sun is most intense. Don't ever sun bathe and never use a tanning bed.  Tanning beds are definitely associated with increased risk of skin cancer, including melanoma, the most dangerous kind.

Dr. Janet Sullivan
Chief Medical Officer
Hudson Health Plan