MomTalk.com February 28, 2021:   The women's magazine for moms about children, family, health, home, fashion, careers, marriage & more

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Skin Cancer Prevention Targets Adolescents, Teens

In this age of midriff-bearing, tank-top wearing or shirtless sun worshipping, warnings about cancer may not be what teens want to hear. But experts say educating children about skin cancer prevention is a community-wide challenge that should involve messages from family members and your child's friends, classmates, athletic coaches and other adult role models.

This multi-pronged approach was the basis of a recent study involving nearly 2,000 children entering sixth through eighth grades in New Hampshire and Vermont. Experts say that as children begin adolescent development, they are establishing their own identities and health care practices amid peer group pressures and their earlier protective sun measures decline.

Researchers at Dartmouth Medical School found that after two years of sun safety counseling and promotional efforts, children in the study who received targeted messages from peers and school and community members practiced better sun protection than children who did not.

As part of the study, researchers followed the students to beaches, pools and outdoor water activities to observe how much they covered up or used sunscreen. A portable machine that allowed students to observe skin damage not visible under normal light monitored real changes in the students' skin. Results of the study were published in the January issue of Pediatrics.
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Categories: Tweens, Teens, Children's Health, Health & Wellness,

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