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Nurse-Midwives Remind Families to Stay Safe in the Sun Posted by
Nurse-Midwives Remind Families to Stay Safe in the Sun

WASHINGTON, Aug. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Now that we are in the midst of family
vacation season, the American College of Nurse-Midwives, reminds women to keep
themselves and their families safe in the sun.
When the warnings from early summer fade, many Americans forget about the
dangers of sun exposure. However, the sun is still strong enough to cause
permanent skin damage and premature aging. Here are some important

* One or two blistering sunburns in childhood can double the risk of
developing melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, in later
life. Children who tan poorly, have fair skin or hair, or have a
family history of skin cancer are at greatest risk and need to be
protected. But, kids with dark skin burn too!

* Excessive sun exposure can damage the immune system and make you or
your children more susceptible to diseases such as cold sores, chicken
pox and lupus.

* Excess exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation can burn the cornea of
the eye. Long term exposure to UV rays can increase the chance of
cataracts and other serious eye problems.

* Antibiotics in the tetracycline family (such as doxycycline and
minocycline) increase your sensitivity to the sun.

* Women planning to have a baby should be aware that early studies
suggest that exposure to UV rays could cause a reduction in the amount
of folates in their bodies. Since inadequate folic acid can cause
neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, too much sun may increase
your risk.

* Children and adults should avoid sun exposure when the sun is
strongest. This is typically between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm.

* Cover skin with clothing as much as possible.

* Exposed skin should be protected with a broad spectrum sunscreen of
at least SPF 15. Reapply every two hours or according to the label.

* Do not apply sunscreen to children under six months. Keep them out of
the sun as much as possible.

* Wear sunglasses with UV protection (especially UVB).

* Perfumes and cosmetics can increase sensitivity to sunlight in some

* Tanning booths are just as dangerous as the real thing.

* If you are making plans to get pregnant, review your diet with your
health care provider. Make sure your folate (folic acid) intake is
adequate and don't go outside without sunscreen.

To obtain more information about the dangers of too much exposure to
sunlight, see your midwife or other health care provider or visit the
ACNM Web site at .

This information is provided as a public service by the American College
of Nurse-Midwives, the oldest women's health care association in the U.S.

SOURCE American College of Nurse-Midwives

-0- 08/05/2000

/CONTACT: Gina Harps, 202-728-9876, or John Boggess, 202-728-9872,

both of the American College of Nurse-Midwives/

Web Site: /

CO: American College of Nurse-Midwives

ST: District of Columbia




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9434 08/05/2000 10:26 EDT

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