Sometimes I ponder the inevitable conversation with my kids about my melanoma diagnosis. I know I can dodge the subject for a while and chalk the frequent check-ups up to simply that -- check-ups. At some point, though, I will have to share that "mommy had melanoma" and all that it means.
YUCK! Not a day that I look forward to and certainly not something I'm prepared for.
But my melanoma journey has taught me a thing or two about sun safety and caring for my skin, and I want to share that knowledge with my kids.
Here's a short list of things I hope our kids come to know about sun safety and their skin.
First and foremost, your skin is beautiful! There isn't a shade of tan in the world that looks any better than the skin God gave you. Not even close.
Put SPF on each morning just like you brush your teeth. Sunscreen should be a part of your daily routine. Unless you plan on staying in a windowless room all day long (which I certainly hope you don't), the sunscreen goes on. There is plenty to be said about the wide variety of sunscreens on the market, but at the end of the day, the best kind of sunscreen is the kind you'll actually use.
Find a wonderful dermatologist. Just like having your teeth cleaned or seeing an eye doctor, a visit with your dermatologist should be regular and consistent. It's just part of life. Make sure you find someone you trust and communicate openly with. Mom will help you, but a good place to start is always a recommendation from another doctor.
When in doubt, check it out. If there is ever anything new or suspicious on your skin, have your dermatologist look at it. There is never any harm in being told, "Oh, that's nothing. It's completely fine!"
Your mom and dad are trying their very best to protect your skin when you are little, which hopefully gives you the best possible start!
We love you and your gorgeous porcelain skin.
Amanda Woodward lives in Alaska with her husband, daughter and two dogs. Learn more about her on her blog.