(WYTV) – It’s a saying that runs deep in most households, don’t forget to wear your sunscreen! But do your children truly understand why wearing it is so important?

Dr. Stephen Predebon, a family medicine physician with Mercy Health, says it’s crucial that parents teach their kids the importance of sunscreen early on to prevent larger issues down the line.

But in the short term, not wearing it could result in sunburn.

“It’s miserable, it’s uncomfortable, it can cause some skin blistering. Things like that can ruin a nice weekend vacation,” said Dr. Predebon.

And then there’s the long term effects.

“We know that UV radiation can harm your skin cells, in the future can lead to much more dangerous things like skin cancer,” he continued.

Dr. Predebon says how often you should be applying sunscreen depends on what you’re doing.

“If you’re sweating more going in and out of the pool you should definitely be applying more frequently. Really every time you’re drying off or after using a towel or something like that you should be reapplying,” said Dr. Predebon.

If you aren’t doing those things, Dr. Predebon suggests reapplying a fresh coat of sunscreen at least every three to four hours.

And kids with underlying conditions need to be especially careful.

“If they have a heart problem, lung issues, things like that, all of the sunscreen, hydration, all of that makes it even more important because you might be a little bit more vulnerable to going out in the sun and being susceptible to the heat,” he said.

Dr. Predebon says kids will take most cues from their parents. So it’s important to instill good habits when it comes to health.

“You want to make sure you’re starting early and it just becomes a part of their routine whenever they go outside or go to an amusement park, play sports, go to the beach, and just making it part of their ‘this is what we do every time,'” he finished.