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Sunscreen queen offers this advice: lather up

Column by: Emmie Jernigan

School is out for the summer! For my family this means baseball, beach days, fishing, and playing outside with friends. This also means sunscreen. My children and their friends often refer to me as “sunscreen queen.”  I am proud to say that I have earned this nickname over the years.  I am always the “baseball mom” to chase after the team with sunscreen in hand. Going fishing with my crew? Sunscreen will be applied.

One of my dear friends passed away too young from melanoma. She was an incredible person and  taken from her family and friends too soon. Her lesson for my family is that sun protection is not only important but also necessary. I also have another friend who has had many melanomas. She has been able to catch them at an early stage. She will be the first to wear sunscreen and stress the importance of protecting your skin. Did I mention that she gives sunscreen to her friends for Christmas? Sunscreen is love.

Many will argue that one type of sunscreen is better than another. I look for broad spectrum sunscreen with a SPF of 50. When swimming, I try to reapply often and look for a SPF of 50 or above. I also use a daily moisturizer with SPF in it. I remind my children constantly to the point where eye-rolling is sure to occur. I remind them that sunscreen is love.

I was at a baseball game the other day and a child asked his parent why one of his teammates needed sunscreen.  “His skin is dark and he doesn’t burn,” he said.

The parent replied that sunscreen is to protect your skin from harmful rays and everyone should wear sunscreen. As we approach sweet summertime please remember that we must all be diligent in protecting not only our children from harmful sun exposure but also ourselves. Perhaps the Oil of Olay campaign got it exactly right!  “Love the skin you’re in” and protect it daily.  I wish all of you a happy and healthy summer.

This article is sponsored by Comfort Care Hospice. For more information about available services call the number above or visit their office on Belleville Avenue.