Paediatric Sun Safety


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Safe Sun Action Plan for Heat and UV Exposure Prevention in Children

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Paediatric Sun Safety

  1. 1. CLIMATE CHANGE is a significant and emerging threat to public health, and changes the way we must look at protecting vulnerable populations like children. Source: World Health Organization, 2003
  2. 2. THE SUN - BENEFITS The Sun lights our world, heats our planet, controls our weather, gives Earth energy, and the Sun’s gravity prevents Earth from drifting off into space. The Sun is necessary for life on earth, it helps plants grow, provides warmth and light, feeds our bodies energy to synthesize minerals, and helps to prevent some diseases. Source:, 2013
  3. 3. HARMFUL EFFECT of SUN • The sun produces light and warmth but also can cause increased heat and UV radiation exposure. • UVA, UVB & UVC rays cannot be seen or felt until the body shows signs and symptoms. • These harmful effects are: increase in temperature, heat exhaustion or stroke, skin color changes from sun tan or burns, damage in the eyes (cataracts), sun exacerbated diseases, and skin cancer. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 2013
  4. 4. UV RADIATION LEVELS ARE ALWAYS CHANGING, THE EFFECT IS BASED ON THE FOLLOWING: • Time of Day • Time of Year • Geographic Location • Altitude • Weather • Reflection • Ozone Layer • Current illness or medications can cause UV sensitivity Source: The World Health Organization, 2003.
  6. 6. SUN PROTECTION STRATEGIES • Global Solar UV Index: identifies the level of solar UV radiation at the Earth’s Surface and can be used daily as a guide for protection. • Avoid long exposure to sun mid-day. • Apply & reapply sunscreen that is broad spectrum; UVA, UVB & UVC. • Wear Protective clothing. • Wear a large brimmed hat. • Seek Shade. • Wear UV eyewear protection. Source: The World Health Organization, 2003.
  7. 7. UV Radiation Exposure • The most dangerous effect from UV radiation exposure is skin cancer. • cancerous growths develop when UV radiation alters the DNA of skin cells damage to skin cells, triggering mutations (genetic defects) that lead the skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors. • Melanomas often resemble moles; some develop from moles. • Estimated new cases and deaths from melanoma in the United States in 2013: New cases: 76,690 Deaths: 9,480 Source: The National Cancer Institute, 2013.
  9. 9. KNOW WHAT CANCEROUS MOLES, LESIONS, AND MARKS LOOK LIKE… Source: National Cancer Institute, 2013
  10. 10. HEAT EXPOSURE • From 1999 to 2010, a total of 7,415 deaths in the United States, an average of 618 per year, were associated with exposure to excessive natural heat. • Children are metabolically and physiologically different from adults. Their bodies don’t selfregulate, and core temperatures can rise 3-5 times faster than an adult. • Children dehydrate easily and may not be able to convey their thirst or understand their need to hydrate when playing outdoors. • Child athletes are at risk of exertional heat stroke because of the physical demand on the Source: Thebody. for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012 Centers
  11. 11. RECOGNIZE THE SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF HEAT STROKE           Sweating Fatigue Headache Nausea Loss of coordination Confusion Dry mouth No saliva or tears Fast pulse Dilated pupils
  12. 12. HEAT STROKE PREVENTION STRATEGIES  Hydrate: Drink 8 ounces every 30 minutes.  Wear loose, lightweight clothing.  Gradually adjust to exercise/play in the heat: start walking, then build as tolerated.  Take rest periods.  Parents, caregivers, teachers & coaches should monitor children regularly and know how to mange exposure.
  13. 13. HEAT STROKE MANAGEMENT • Act fast. Call 911 • Move to a cooler location. • Rest lying down with feet elevated. • If conscious have the child drink as much water as possible. • Loosen and/or remove clothing. • Massage arms and legs. • Wet body with cool compresses. • If child vomits roll head to side.
  15. 15. Protect Your Eyes from UV Damage Worldwide approximately 18 million people are blind as a result of cataracts, of these 5% of all cataract related disease burden is directly attributable to UV radiation exposure. • Acute effects of UV radiation include photokeratitis and photoconjunctivitis These effects are reversible, easily prevented by protective eyewear and are not associated with any long-term damage. • Chronic effects of UV radiation include: Cataract: an eye disease where the lens becomes increasingly opaque, resulting in impaired vision and eventual blindness; Pterygium: a white or creamy fleshy growth on the surface of the eye; Prevention Strategies • Annual eye exams should start early in childhood. • Wear Sunglasses that provide both UVA & UVB Protection; UVB damage is cumulative over time and the damage can be prevented. Source: The World Health Organization, 201
  16. 16. Wear Eye Protection
  17. 17. PREVENTION IN YOUTH MAKES FOR A HEALTHY LONG LIFE • Wear Broad Spectrum Sunscreen Year round. • Shade your eyes with UV protective eyewear. • Wear lightweight protective clothing. • Use the UV Index as a guide • Don’t ignore moles and freckles. • Drink plenty of water. • Eat healthy foods rich in antioxidants and vitamin C. Source:, 2012
  18. 18. FURTHER INFORMATION & RESOURCES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. (2012). Retrieved from: Environmental Protection Agency website. (2013). Retrieved from: website. (2013). Retrieved from: National Cancer Institute website. (2013). Retrieved from: website. (2013). Retrieved from: World Health Organization. (2003). Retrieved from: