Between the years 2014 and 2035, the rates of melanoma skin cancer are expected to surge by 7% in the UK alone. Sadly, experts project that by 2035, about 32 cases per 100,000 people are expected to have skin cancer. What is alarming to know is that adults are not the only ones who should be concerned about the harmful effects of sun exposure.
According to one study on pediatric melanoma, the head and the neck are the parts most likely to develop a tumour. In children, the five-year survival rate is about 94% for those who have non-cancerous lymph nodes. However, in almost 30% of the cases, the lymph nodes surrounding a cancerous one have already been compromised by the time the patient is diagnosed with cancer. Among these cases, the success rate of the five-year survival is down to 78%.
However, it is not just skin cancer you should be protecting your children from. Here are more negative effects of sun exposure on children.
1. Eye Damage
Your retina can suffer from unprotected, long-term exposure to sunlight. Harmful exposure could lead to the having cloudy bumps along the cornea’s edges and prevent clear vision. Long-term exposure can also developing cataracts. Sometimes, children are too young to wear sunglasses. That is why buildings such as schools choose to install canopies or create a shaded area to help protect children while they are outside.
2. Heat Exhaustion
Speaking of canopies of schools, these are also great to prevent heat exhaustion among children. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevent (CDC), symptoms of heat exhaustion include nausea, headache, dizziness, thirst, irritability, and weakness. Some people also experience heavy sweating, a decrease in urine, and high body temperature. Small children should be protected from the harmful effects of the sun because it can affect their overall health in the long run. They can also suffer from a compromised immune system.
3. Heat Rash
A heat rash happens when perspiration is trapped in the sweat ducts under the skin. It looks like small blisters of pimples and appears in clusters. Normally, children develop heat rash in the groin, neck, upper chest, and elbow creases. Left untreated, heat rash can affect the quality of life of children. One way to prevent this is to install canopies or have children play in a shaded area to protect them from excessive heat.
4. Early Aging and Skin Changes
Did you know that long-term and unprotected sun exposure can lead to premature skin ageing? And who wants to deal with dark spots, leathery and wrinkled skin early? Excessive sun exposure can also lead to the development of moles and freckles which could lead to cancer if left untreated or under the radar.
There are many products out there that can help you protect your little ones from the harmful effects of sun exposure. But it is not just the cream, sunscreens, and ointments that do the job. You can also be practical and install some protective equipment like canopies to get the job done.