MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) — As Heat Safety Week coincides with Skin Cancer Awareness Month, now more than ever, doctors are urging people to stay safe in the sun.

Health experts remind everyone spending time outdoors in May to bring the right gear, use sunscreen, hydrate and cool down whenever possible — simple steps you can take to decrease your risk for skin cancer and melanoma.

“I think the first thing people forget is that you’re always exposed to the sun when you’re outside,” said Dr. Daniel Kirchoff, surgical oncologist at Roper St. Francis Healthcare. “I think it’s more dangerous this time of year because it’s so comfortable out. Even if there’s a little cloud cover, and it’s nice and cool, we can easily get fooled into getting a bad sunburn.”

While wearing SPF of at least 15 or 30 is essential, he added clothes — like long sleeves or a hat — can be a big help, and unlike sunscreen, don’t need to be reapplied.

“Especially for the little kids, they can be tough to wrangle and get to reapply their sunscreen, so there are really good zip up swimsuits that if kids start using from an early age, they’re very comfortable in,” he said.

This time of year, he reminds families exposure to UV light at any age is the number one risk factor for all skin cancer and melanoma.

“As far as when to start screening, if you have had sun exposure such as sunburns during your childhood, probably after high school, 18 or 19 years old, is when you should have regular skin surveillance,” Dr. Kirchoff said.

With summer right around the corner, look out for moles that look different, irregular borders on your skin and spots that are darker than the surrounding skin, he said.

“We kind of think of the ‘ugly duckling’ approach. If there’s one mole that’s just different, even if it’s not dark, maybe it’s flesh colored, that’s something to get checked out,” he said.

For more tips and resources for staying safe in the heat, click here.

You can catch the full 2 Your Health report Friday on News 2 at 4.