sunbathing on the beachWhether they're hitting the beach, laying out in the backyard, or going to the tanning salon, many people are hell-bent on getting bronzed, consequences be damned! What's more, it seems like the younger the sun-seeker, the more invincible they think they are to the damaging effects of ultraviolet rays. Teens are especially notorious -- and have pretty much always been! -- for thinking there's no need to worry about guarding against sun damage. But new research shows that tanning poses a serious cancer risk for them, too.

Dartmouth researchers concluded that teens who indoor tan are especially vulnerable to developing basal cell carcinomas (BCC) at a young age, according to their study set to be published in the July 2014 issue of Pediatrics. Truly frightening!

Considering that many teens live within only a couple of miles from a tanning salon and, in the summer, they can easily soak up UV rays without sun protection while spending time outside, this warning couldn't come at a better time. It's the perfect opportunity for parents to take action and steer their kids toward healthier habits.

Clearly, real risks exist -- which we may not have even realized before. But now that research proves it, it's even more reason for moms to be talking to their kids and not turning a blind eye. Even more reason for moms to start discussing the dangers of exposure to ultraviolet rays, very much in the same way they would the dangers of cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs.

Sure, we want our kids to have a good time outside in the summer. But given that the dangers of the sun or indoor tanning don't discriminate against age, it couldn't be more obvious that kids, too, need to be taking certain precautions to keep disease at bay (limiting sun exposure chief among them!). And tanning beds? Given that researchers found that they can produce 10 to 15 times as much UV radiation as the midday sun, they really should be out of the question altogether!

What do you tell your teens about sun protection?

 

 

Image via gareth1953/Flickr