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Tuesday, February 7, 2023
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Study shows only 25 percent of kids use sunscreen regularly


Despite the high rate of skin cancer, most kids aren’t using sunscreen, according to a recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The study, “Prospective Study of Sunburn and Sun Behavior Patterns During Adolescence,” published in the February issue of Pediatrics, found that at least 50 percent of the 360 children in the study experienced sunburns before age 11. The authors followed up with the group three years later and found that the rates of sunburn remained high, according to the study.

Melanoma is one of the two most common cancers of young Americans, and children who have had a sunburn at an early age are at almost double the risk for developing melanoma in adulthood, according to the study.

Sun behaviors also changed, the study determined. Older teens reported spending more time in the sun and using less sunscreen. In fact, half the children using sunscreen routinely at the beginning of the study no longer did so three years later, the study stated. And only 25 percent of the children in the sample were still using sunscreen routinely at the follow-up evaluation.

The authors concluded that further studies are needed to learn how to promote sun protection in settings such as beaches, after-school sites and sporting events. This is especially true for adolescents who are developing tan-promoting behaviors, the study stated.

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