Kids and Skin Cancer

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There's something dangerous on this playground. It's not the slide or the jungle gym; it’s the sun.

Chris Madison says: "80-90 percent of all sun damage is done to our children before they turn 18."

At Cumberland Trace Elementary Principal Mary Evans talks to the kids about skin cancer. Evans had to have some non-malignant spots removed on her face and she wants to keep the kids informed about the dangers of the sun.

Evans says: "Talk to them about what damage and what danger sun can do to your skin. So we talk to them about it and tell them they are welcome to bring a hat or a cap to wear at recess."

Chris Madison is a surgical wound closure specialist who deals with removal of cancerous spots. He says the playground can be a risk factor on days when the temperatures are very hot.

Madison says: "With UV radiation 85 percent of it bounces off of surfaces such as blacktop. Cumberland Trace has a big black top area back there."

Principal Evans says the shelter on the playground is a popular spot when the courts get too hot. She also encourages parents to take part in protecting their kids from the sun.

Evans says: "We have not considered providing sunscreen. A lot of the new ones last 6-8 hours. So it would be very helpful to us if the parents would put sunscreen on their children before they come to school."

Madison says parents should apply a sunscreen with an SPF of 50 or more 20-30 minutes before their kids go out in the sun. They should reapply it every one-and-a-half to two hours after that and should try to avoid going out between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Madison says: "One blistering sunburn takes eight to five minutes for a child. If a child receives one blistering sunburn their chances of developing malignant melanoma actually double in adulthood."

Madison is a consultant on skin cancer and is planning on educating the schools in warren and surrounding counties on how to prevent cancer.
To give you an idea of prevalent skin cancer is, every president since 1990 has had some form of it.

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