Keeping kids safe out in the summer sun - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Keeping kids safe out in the summer sun

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INDIANAPOLIS -

All this week on Sunrise, we are focusing on summer safety for your kids.  Today, it's the importance of sunscreen. 

Skin cancer is the number one cancer in the U.S.  We talked with one Indiana teenager, whose already battled two rounds of skin cancer, and is now on a mission to make others understand the dangers from the sun.

Shanna Kelly, who graduates from Alexandria Monroe High School this month, was diagnosed with melanoma last year at age 17.  She says, "I went to the hair dresser and she pointed out a mole to get checked out."

Shanna has had three surgeries and nearly a year of chemo therapy-type treatments.. and she still faces another surgery.  While Shanna's form of Melanoma is not caused by sun exposure, Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults.  Nearly 90 percent of which are caused by sun exposure.

Anita Day is the co-founder of Outrun the Sun.  She says Melanoma is often misunderstood.

Anita says, "People often think of it as just a skin cancer that can be removed and you are fine and you can go on your way.  That is the case with a lot of different types of skin cancer, but not necessarily Melanoma."

Anita says you need to teach children about the dangers of the sun, but also, how to protect from its harmful rays.. and sunscreen alone is not enough.

•Seek the shade, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM.

•Do not burn.

•Avoid tanning booths.

•Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.

•Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.

•See your physician every year for a professional skin exam.

Early detection, like Shanna's is key to survival.

She says, "Everyone I come in contact with, (I tell them) make sure you wear your sunscreen."

Thursday morning on Sunrise: the importance of wearing helmets while riding bikes, scooters and A-T-V's.

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