Parents' skin cancer concern doesn't keep kids inside

September 6, 2012
Credit: Flickr/WisconsinDepartmentofNaturalResources

Pick your poison: sun exposure that leads to skin cancer or low physical activity that leads to obesity? In fact, a University of Colorado Cancer Center study published this week in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease shows that parents' concern about skin cancer doesn't make them keep their kids indoors.

"Actually, our was the opposite – that if parents were concerned about they wouldn't let their children go out as much," says Alexander Tran, summer fellow working with Lori , PhD, CU Cancer Center investigator and chair of the Department of Community & Behavioral Health at the Colorado School of Public Health.

The study used data from a 999 child cohort of 8-9 year olds from within the group known as the Colorado Kids Sun Care Program, a research program ongoing since 1998. Phone interviews determined parents' level of concern about melanoma, asking questions including "How serious do you think melanoma is?" and "How easy or hard is it for doctors to treat a typical case of melanoma?" Parents were also asked how many hours per day their children spend outside and physical examinations determined kids' body mass indices (BMIs). Tran and Crane controlled for possible confounding factors including race, skin color and socioeconomic status.

"Our new hypothesis is that maybe we had the relationship reversed," Tran says. "Perhaps instead of higher melanoma concern leading to staying inside, it's the parents of kids who spend the most time outside who are most concerned about skin cancer. This is a good finding: it suggests that children can get plenty of outdoor and prevent skin cancer by using good sun protection measures such as wearing a hat and shirt, and applying sunscreen."

"Some studies generate more questions than answers," Tran says. Further study within the Colorado Kids Sun Care Program will explore the interrelationships between skin cancer awareness, sun protection behaviors, outdoor play, and obesity.

Explore further: UV photographs of 12-year-olds show skin cancer risk

More information: www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2012/11_0345.htm

Related Stories

UV photographs of 12-year-olds show skin cancer risk

March 28, 2012
Look at a middle school assembly – during their lifetime one in 50 of these kids will develop melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer that kills 48,000 people every year, worldwide. Now look at these kids again ...

Preventing the skin cancer, not just the sunburn

March 14, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- With the first day of spring just one week away, anyone who spends time in the sun should be aware of new sunscreen regulations designed to help prevent skin cancer.

Skin cancer increasingly common in teens and young adults

May 7, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- With summer just around the corner, pediatricians at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center are sounding the alarm on a disturbing trend: A growing number of teenagers and young adults diagnosed with skin ...

Popular warm-weather attire leaves delicate skin exposed to the sun

June 20, 2011
Cheap, convenient and casual, baseball caps and flip-flops have a trendy charm. Those qualities make them must-wear accessories for teens, outdoor enthusiasts, gardeners or anyone trying to keep cool during the sweltering ...

Recommended for you

Researchers pinpoint causes for spike in breast cancer genetic testing

October 20, 2017
A sharp rise in the number of women seeking BRCA genetic testing to evaluate their risk of developing breast cancer was driven by multiple factors, including celebrity endorsement, according to researchers at the University ...

Study shows how nerves drive prostate cancer

October 19, 2017
In a study in today's issue of Science, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, part of Montefiore Medicine, report that certain nerves sustain prostate cancer growth by triggering a switch that causes tumor vessels ...

Gene circuit switches on inside cancer cells, triggers immune attack

October 19, 2017
Researchers at MIT have developed a synthetic gene circuit that triggers the body's immune system to attack cancers when it detects signs of the disease.

One to 10 mutations are needed to drive cancer, scientists find

October 19, 2017
For the first time, scientists have provided unbiased estimates of the number of mutations needed for cancers to develop, in a study of more than 7,500 tumours across 29 cancer types. Researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger ...

Researchers target undruggable cancers

October 19, 2017
A new approach to targeting key cancer-linked proteins, thought to be 'undruggable," has been discovered through an alliance between industry and academia.

Suicide molecules kill any cancer cell

October 19, 2017
Small RNA molecules originally developed as a tool to study gene function trigger a mechanism hidden in every cell that forces the cell to commit suicide, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study, the first to identify molecules ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.