Despite numerous efforts to encourage people to wear sunscreen, a new study shows only 1 in 4 children regularly use sunscreen. Researchers say more than half of the children in the study also reported having a sunburn in the previous summer. “The problem is if you sunburn in childhood, you raise your risk of developing skin cancer later on,” says Sophie J. Balk, a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital at Montefiore in New York City. Additionally a recent study showed that children who have a sunburn at an early age are nearly twice as likely to develop melanoma in adulthood. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, and is responsible for nearly 9,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. Exposure to ultraviolet light radiation from the sun or tanning beds is the biggest modifiable risk factor for melanoma.
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