May is Skin Cancer Prevention Month

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer. UV damage can also cause wrinkles and blotches or spots on your skin. The good news is that skin cancer can be prevented, and it can usually be cured when it’s found and treated early. 

Take simple steps today to protect your skin and the skin of staff and children in your program: 

  • Infants younger than 6 months are kept out of direct sunlight
  • Stay out of the sun as much as possible between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher, 15-30 minutes before going outside. Put on sunscreen every 2 hours and after you swim or sweat. Use sunscreen whenever you are going to be outside, even on cloudy days. Do not forget to apply to the neck, ears, top of head, and exposed tops of feet.
  • Cover up with long sleeves and a wide-brimmed hat. 
  • Children should wear child safe shatter resistant sunglasses with at least 99% UV protection.
  • Use Model Child Care Health Policies, 5th ed. and Appendix T “Sun Safety Permission Form” to develop sun safety policies.
  • Check skin regularly for changes and see a board-certified dermatologist if you notice new or suspicious spots on your skin, or anything changing, itching or bleeding.

Over-the-counter ointments and creams, such as sunscreen that are used for preventive purposes do not require a written authorization from a primary care provider with prescriptive authority. However, parent/guardian written permission is required, and all label instructions must be followed. If the skin is broken or an allergic reaction is observed, caregivers/teachers should discontinue use and notify the parent/guardian.

Source:  American Academy of Dermatology, National Health Information Center and American Academy of Pediatrics, American Public Health Association, National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education. CFOC Standards Online Database. Aurora, CO; National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education; 2019. [ accessed 4-17-19]