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What are the risks of sun exposure for children?

Solar radiation is hazardous for children. Rates of skin cancer in the United States have been rising steadily over the past three decades and are closely associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, one source of which is the sun. Blistering sunburns in childhood and adolescence are especially dangerous and are strongly associated with increased risk of skin cancer. Blond or red-haired and blue-eyed children, who often have lighter complexions, are at a higher risk for solar injury, because their skin contains smaller quantities of the protective pigment melanin than children with darker complexions.

The two most effective ways to protect children from excessive solar radiation are sunscreen or sunblock and sun-protective clothing.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.