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Teen Health

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Group Calls for Tanning Salon Ban for Teens

American Academy of Pediatrics Wants to Reduce Children’s Sun Exposure

Tips to Reduce Sun Exposure

Aside from avoiding tanning salons and artificial sources of ultraviolet radiation, the report offers the following advice for limiting sun exposure and reducing the risk of skin cancer among children:

  • Avoid getting sunburns.
  • Wear protective clothing and hats while outside.
  • Time outdoor activities, when possible, outside the peak sun exposure hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Apply a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 every two hours and after swimming, sweating, or drying off with a towel.
  • Infants under 6 months of age should be kept out of direct sunlight and protected with clothing and hats.

Researchers say following this sun exposure advice is especially important for children at high risk of developing skin cancer, including those with light skin, freckles, or a family history of melanoma.

Vitamin D in Diet and Supplements

The report calls for doctors and parents to be vigilant about protecting children from ultraviolet radiation while encouraging some outside activity for optimal health and vitamin D production.

Vitamin D is necessary for normal growth and bone development. Sources of vitamin D include exposure to the sun, dietary sources, and supplements. Vitamin D deficiency is a growing health concern among both children and adults. But researchers say deliberate sun and ultraviolet radiation exposure with the goal of increasing vitamin D production should be avoided. Instead, healthy vitamin D levels should be achieved through dietary sources and supplementation, if necessary.

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