AAP issues warning on children’s exposure to UV radiation

March 2, 2011

Elk Grove Village, IL – Citing increasing rates of skin cancers, including melanoma, the American Academy of Pediatrics recently issued new recommendations on limiting sun exposure and tanning salon use among children.

Ultraviolet Radiation: a Hazard to Children and Adolescents” offers guidance to parents and pediatricians on skin cancer prevention. Skin protection should begin at a young age, the statement advises, and is especially important for people at high risk for developing skin cancer, including those with light skin or freckles, who sunburn easily, or have a family history of the disease.

AAP recommends minimizing outdoor activity in the midday sun (from about 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.); applying sunscreen; and wearing sunglasses, hats and proper clothing when outdoors. Additionally, AAP supports legislation prohibiting access to tanning salons by people younger than 18. According to AAP, tanning salons especially are dangerous because the ultraviolet rays from some tanning devices can be 10-15 times higher than the midday sun.