Chicago mom keeping families safe in the sun

  • Dr. Amy Brodsky
  • Two kids, Nicole, 8, and Jake, 7. Married to Joel.
  • Deerfield
  • Founder and president of Pediatric Sun Protection Foundation and a board certified dermatologist, with her practice, The Derm, in Glenview and Park Ridge

What is your parenting philosophy?

Learn by example. I want to be a role model for my kids: I want to be a mom who works and supports her family; I want to show, particularly my daughter, but also my son, that you can be a mother, a doctor and a wife. It’s not easy, but you can do it.

Your best advice to other parents?

Appreciate every day. Lately, for me, it’s appreciate what you have and not worry so much about what you don’t have. I’m constantly trying to tell my kids that not everybody has what you have, you should appreciate it instead of complaining. … If you have anything other than food, shelter and love, then it’s considered a privilege.

What’s on your summer bucket list with your kids?

I want to do a vacation, probably some kind of family camp.

Cool in the pool

Every day, Dr. Amy Brodsky confronts the effects of too much sun.

But in convincing kids of the dangers-skin cancer or heaven forbid, wrinkles!-she faces a tough crowd of doubters because the effects don’t happen right away. ™What happens when you are 18 or younger shows up when you are 30 or 40 years old, she says.

When she noticed it was harder and harder to make sure her kids were protected with swim shirts and sunscreen at camps and outdoor activities, she put her efforts to educate people about skin cancer into high gear. She makes her kids wear swim shirts to protect them and decided she wanted everyone to think the shirts were the ™hip, cool thing, too.

Through her nonprofit Pediatric Sun Protection Foundation, Brodsky wants to make swim shirts as common as bike helmets. For more info,

The top three best tips to protect kids this summer?

  • Seek shade 10 a.m.-4 p.m. as much as possible.
  • Reapply sunscreen. You should use at least two shot glasses of sunscreen every two hours.
  • Look for a broad spectrum sunblock.

What should you do if they do get burned despite precautions?

  • Cool the skin.
  • Give an anti-inflammatory medicine.
  • Apply Hydrocortisone 1%.
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