Going To The Beach May Increase Skin Cancer Risk In Children

Poipu Beach Park, Poipu, KauaiPoipu Beach Park, Poipu, Kauai

Thinking of going to the beach this summer? Well, think again. A new study suggests that going to the beach may not be a healthy form of fun for children.

Researchers at the Colorado School of Public Health found that children who spend vacation time at the beach have more moles, which could later on develop into skin cancer.

Lori Crane, Ph.D., M.P.H. led the study and examined 681 white children born in 1998 and lifelong residents of Colorado. The children were asked about their vacation histories and were also evaluated with a skin exam in order to track the developments of nevi, which are commonly referred to as ‘moles’.

“Parents of young children need to be cautious about taking their kids on vacations that are going to be sun-intensive at waterside locations, where people are outside for whole days at a time in skin-exposing swimsuits,” said Crane. “We recommend that, for young children, parents keep the kids involved in indoor activities from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to decrease risk, or if they are to be outside, that they wear shirts with sleeves.”

Crane found that 7-year-olds that visit the beach have 5 percent more moles and a 5 percent increase in moles if they visited the beach before age 7. Crane also found that boys had a 19 percent higher risk than girls for development of moles. “This may be due to an increased likelihood among boys to want to stay outdoors,” said Crane.

Higher income families were also at a higher risk because they were more likely to take vacations near the beaches.

This study was published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

Check out 10 Summer Baby Essentials for some great ideas to protect babies from the sun.

Source: American Association for Cancer Research

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