Be ‘A.W.A.R.E.’ of Sun Safety
At this time of year, when parents are more conscious of keeping their skin and their children’s skin safe from the harmful rays of the sun, a new book provides a comprehensive guide to sun safety: Sun Protection for Life: Your Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy and Beautiful Skin, by Mary and John Barrows  (New Harbinger, 2005).

Sun Protection for Life urges you to take skin health seriously, especially for children. High levels of ultraviolet (UV) exposure before the teen years drastically increases the chance of melanoma later in life. The book includes information on detection of and prevention from skin cancer.

The authors are founders of Coolibar, a company that provides solar protective clothing endorsed by the Skin Cancer Foundation. Their book relies on expert information from physicians and researchers. You can keep yourself and your children safe from the sun by using the authors’ advice contained in the acronym “A.W.A.R.E.”

A – Avoid going out in the sun without protection, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., times of peak UV exposure.

W – Wear sun-protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, sunglasses and a hat with at least a 3-inch brim.

A – Apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 about 20 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours if remaining outside.

R – Routinely check your whole body for changes in skin pigmentation or the size and shape of moles. Report suspicious changes to your doctor.

E – Express the need for sun protection to your family and those around you.

For more extensive information, pick up a copy of Sun Protection for Life for about $12 at major bookstores.

– Elizabeth A. Allen

More information:

How to Protect Your Children from Common Summer Safety Hazards