With summer virtually here and the School Holidays and Festive Season around the corner, we all need to make sure that we protect ourselves from the harsh African sun.
Every day parents are bombarded with conflicting advice as to what is best for their children; children aren’t exercising enough — get them outside; children are at risk for skin cancer — get them inside!
This can be very confusing, especially for newer parents, but the truth is actually that both you and your children can and should enjoy an active and healthy lifestyle, with plenty of outdoor exercise, without any danger – by practicing good sun-protection habits.
Every child needs sun protection, and all children, regardless of their pigmentation should wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Although dark skin has more protective melanin and tans more easily than it burns, tanning is a sign of sun damage. Dark-skinned children can also get painful sunburns.
We South Africans love being outdoors during the summer, whether it be braaing around the pool, hiking or having a picnic on the beach… and we can continue to do all of these things as long as we apply some simple rules about being out in the sun.
Somehow or the other (I believe it is Kismet), I got connected with the Little Fighters Cancer Trust Facebook Page shortly after they started it (around mid 2011), and one of the first Children with Cancer that I became aware of was Reef Carneson.
Reef was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) at the age of 5 months, during a routine paediatric check-up. He had an extremely high white cell count (200,000) and at the time his parents were told that his prognosis was not good at all.
A month into Chemotherapy Treatment Reef went into renal failure and was put on dialysis in Morningside I.C.U. after which he returned to Donald Gordon Medical Centre and continued with an extremely aggressive protocol of chemotherapy.
Unfortunately Reef’s fight against cancer had only just begun… Read more about this early period on our website.