Researchers monitor sunburn patterns among children

Reprints

New York – More than 50 percent of children experience sunburn before age 11, and they could be exposing themselves to harmful ultraviolet light radiation, according to a study published online in January in Pediatrics, a journal published by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Researchers surveyed 360 11-year-old children from a fifth-grade class between September and October of 2004, and then administered surveys three years later to assess behavioral changes and prevalence of sunburn, according to the study.

Half of the children using sunscreen routinely at the beginning of the study no longer did so three years later, and only 25 percent of the children in the sample were still using sunscreen routinely at the follow-up evaluation, the study found.

According to study authors, early childhood UV light radiation exposures have been shown to be associated with skin cancer development in adult years.

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