Children and Skin Cancer
“High sun exposure in the first 10 years of life more than doubles melanoma risk, while intense, intermittent sun exposure (number of sunburns and sunbathing vacations) during each decade up to 29 years of age increases risk of melanoma by more than one-and-a-half times”*
Protecting your child from overexposure to the sun can reduce their risk of developing skin and eye damage and skin cancer later in life.
Children and infants are at considerable risk of sunburn because their skin is very fragile. Their risk of developing skin cancer later in life is greatly increased if there is sun exposure from birth to 15 years of age. It is important to minimize children’s exposure to the sun especially during this time. Childhood is a crucial time to establish and maintain appropriate and long-term sun safe behaviours. Check the daily sun protection time and use a combination of sun protection methods – slip, slop, slap, seek and slide for all outdoor activities during these times. Encourage your child, whatever their age, to be SunSmart and maintain a healthy balance of UV exposure.
It is normal for children to have some moles and freckles developing before and during puberty, even in areas that are not exposed to the sun. Children rarely develop skin cancer.
It is never too early to start Full Body skin checks with your child.