Here comes the sun, and kid sun safety

May 25, 2018

(HealthDay)—Summer sun brings childhood fun, but experts warn it also brings skin cancer dangers, even for kids.

"Don't assume children cannot get cancer because of their age," said Dr. Alberto Pappo, director of the solid tumor division at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. "Unlike other cancers, the conventional that we see mostly in adolescents behaves the same as it does in adults."

His advice: "Children are not immune from extreme sun damage, and parents should start sun protection early and make it a habit for life."

So, this and every summer, parents should take steps to shield kids from the sun's harmful UV rays.

Those steps include:

  • Avoid exposure. Infants and children younger than 6 months old should avoid sun exposure entirely, Pappo advised. If these babies are outside or on the beach this summer, they should be covered up with hats and appropriate clothing. It's also a good idea to avoid being outside when UV rays are at their peak, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  • Use sunscreen. It's important to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen to 's exposed skin. Choose one with at least SPF15 that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Pappo cautioned that sunscreen needs to be reapplied every couple of hours and after swimming—even if the label says it is "water-resistant." However, should not be used on infants younger than 6 months old because their exposure to the chemicals in these products would be too high, he noted.
  • Keep kids away from tanning beds. Melanoma rates are rising among teenagers, partly due to their use of indoor tanning beds. Use of tanning beds by people younger than 30 boosts their risk for this deadly form of by 75 percent, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
  • Get children screened. Early detection of melanoma is key to increasing patients' odds of survival. Children with suspicious moles or skin lesions should be seen by a doctor as soon as possible, Pappo advised. Removing melanoma in its early stages also increases the chances of avoiding more invasive surgical procedures later on, he added.

Explore further: Why some are still skeptical of tanning bed risks

More information: There are more sun-safety tips at the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Related Stories

Why some are still skeptical of tanning bed risks

February 23, 2018
(HealthDay)—The health risks are high for young people who use tanning beds, but not all parents seem to see it that way.

Melanoma rates rising for boomers, falling among young

February 5, 2018
(HealthDay)—It looks like public health efforts to warn younger Americans about the dangers of tanning beds and sun exposure are paying off.

There's no such thing as a safe, healthy tan

June 8, 2017
Dear Mayo Clinic: My daughter wanted to go to a tanning bed before prom, but, instead, she opted for a spray tan. But a lot of her friends are going to a tanning bed and think it's relatively safe. Is there such a thing as ...

Should there be age restrictions on tanning beds?

December 29, 2015
Earlier this month, the Food and Drug Administration proposed steps to prevent the use of indoor tanning beds. They want to restrict usage to people 18 years of age and older, and they want tanning bed manufacturers and facilities ...

Melanoma expert discusses dangers of indoor tanning

March 4, 2016
As spring break plans are being finalized, many people are heading for the tanning salons to get that beach-ready glow. 

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 ...

Recommended for you

Students more likely to eat school breakfast when given extra time, new study finds

August 18, 2018
Primary school students are more likely to eat a nutritional breakfast when given 10 extra minutes to do so, according to a new study by researchers at Virginia Tech and Georgia Southern University.

Like shark attack and the lottery, unconscious bias influences cancer screening

August 17, 2018
What do shark attack, the lottery and ovarian cancer screening having in common? It turns out our judgments about these things are all influenced by unconscious bias.

Phantom odors: One American in 15 smells odors that aren't there, study finds

August 16, 2018
Imagine the foul smell of an ash tray or burning hair. Now imagine if these kinds of smells were present in your life, but without a source. A new study finds that 1 in 15 Americans (or 6.5 percent) over the age of 40 experiences ...

US drug overdose deaths surge amid fentanyl scourge

August 16, 2018
US drug overdose deaths surged to nearly 72,000 last year, as addicts increasingly turn to extremely powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl as the supply of prescription painkillers has tightened.

Parental life span predicts daughters living to 90 without chronic disease or disability

August 15, 2018
Researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine report that women whose mothers lived to at least age 90 were more likely to also live to 90, free of serious diseases and disabilities.

Eating breakfast burns more carbs during exercise and accelerates metabolism for next meal

August 15, 2018
Eating breakfast before exercise may "prime" the body to burn carbohydrates during exercise and more rapidly digest food after working out, University of Bath researchers have found.

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.