Sun safety starts at a very early age. Due to the high UV index in Brisbane, it’s vitally important we protect our infants, babies, and toddlers from harmful radiation early in life. Developing good habits, including the twice daily use of a sunscreen, as well as hats and rash suits during water exposure sets a foundation for sun protection in adult life. Sunburn in early life markedly increases the chances of developing melanoma.
Important facts on sun protection and children
Choose the type of sunscreen that suits the situation. For children, Skin Cancer Doctors recommend 2 types.
Daily sunscreen: This should be used twice a day. A non- greasy formulation is essential or your kids will hate using it! La Roche Posay is an excellent formulation.
Activity sunscreen: This is greasy, but waterproof, and is ideal for the beach or outdoor activities. Apply every 2-4 hours, especially in the Queensland sun.
This is a hard one to call. Children will develop moles as they grow up, in fact most people will ‘collect’ more moles till the age of 30. There after there is a slow decline in the number of moles.
If your child is ‘moley’ or if you or your GP is unsure in regards to the safety of moles, a mole check by either a skin cancer doctor or Dermatologist is needed. Both skin cancer doctors and Dermatologists manage moles in children in very similar ways- in the vast majority of times we professionally measure
Reducing risks factors in adult life starts off in childhood. It takes just one episode of blistering sun burn in early life to DOUBLE the chances of developing melanoma in adult life. Start educating your children young- slip, slop, and slap.
Developing good habits of twice daily sunscreen use, as well as hats and rashies, will protect your children, and reduce their chances of developing melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers.
Skin cancer, especially melanomas are exceedingly rare in children, however we never take risks! Moles are carefully examined by a process called dermatoscopy. We look for subtle changes within the mole, and will measure, document and photography the mole. Children are then reviewed every 3 -12 months, and comparison photographs are taken.
Moles in children should grow at the same rate as the child, and not quicker.
0- Six Months (INFANTS)
Six Months to One Year old (BABIES)
Toddlers and Pre-school age