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"Parents are more inclined to let their children play outside without sun protection in May than August and many parents recant stories of severe sunburns especially in newborns," said Maryellen Maguire-Eisen, Executive Director. Children’s Melanoma Prevention Foundation focuses on teaching children and the people who care for them safe and proven methods of sun protection. This is why she worked with Dr. Jeremy Warhaftig, a board certified pediatrician and CMPF Board member, to develop an educational resource for new parents.

"As the parent of three fair skinned children, I fully understand the importance of enjoying the outdoors but we need to do so wisely and safely," said Dr. Warhaftig. He went on to say that "many of the chronic conditions that affect adults have their onset in the habits that are established in childhood." Melanoma and other skin cancers are no exception. He is passionate about prevention and brought this educational initiative to his Pediatric Department at South Shore Medical Center in May for Melanoma Awareness month. His staff provided 100 families with special information, a program bookmark and a SnapperRock infant swim shirt, donated by a leading producer of sun protection clothing for children.

Newborns have very special needs when it comes to sun protection. Here are some proven steps to protecting your newborn from overexposure to UV rays.

SunAWARE for Infants and the People Who Care for them
Avoid direct and reflected sunlight especially between 10 am and 4 pm.
Wrap baby's eyes with sunglasses, cover all skin with appropriate clothing, including a wide brimmed hat, long sleeves, and pants or leggings.
As a last resort, and after testing on a small patch of skin, apply broad-spectrum SPF30+ sunscreen to areas that cannot be otherwise protected, selecting products that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.
Remember to check the UV Index before going outdoors. UV levels can be surprisingly high on cool and cloudy days.
Educate everyone who cares for your infant that they can develop sunburns more easily than older babies and suffer from severe consequences including dehydration, fever, and skin infections.

 

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