The Summer Danger You've Got to Talk to Your Kid About Right Now​

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



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Evaly... EvalynCarnate

Gently tell them to stay out of the sun/wear sunscreen at all costs or else they'll look like shoe leather when they're 40. 


nonmember avatar JOe

Parents need to seriously rethink summer recreation for their kids. Pools, baseball fields, beaches, lakes, tennis courts and soccer fields blast incredible amounts of UV at them. Parents seldom apply or reapply SPF's as needed. Look for indoor activities and keep your kids safe!

nonmember avatar Michelle

Are u serious? U don't think kids spend too much time indoors as it is? Sunscreen is what's causing the cancer....not the sun. Yes..if u get burnt badly and especially repeatedly....that's definitely not good. But if they are out for short periods every day during the year their skin will be less likely to burn.

THE SUN IS good for u! If you bare going to be out ALL day or near a refelctive surface...yes by all means apply some protection....but in the form of natural substances and clothing. Ppl are ignorant to think that we should avoid the sun at all helps to sustain life for gods sake

nonmember avatar Melanie

Michelle thank you that is what I have been saying for a long time all the shit it sun screen is what is bad for us not the sun

Brittaney Davis

I agree with Michelle! Was the type(s) of sunscreen/bronzers they were using even taken into consideration?! I've been using nothing but Organic Virgin Coconut Oil on my kids this year and they haven't even gotten pink once. And we're outside quite a lot. We also utilize hats and sunglasses and long sleeve protective swimwear for the babies. The FDA has actually released information stating that sunscreens promote the growth of cancer cells and free radicals and that there has been an increase in skin cancer rates since the widespread use of sunscreen. They also stated that there is no solid evidence that the sun alone causes skin cancer. Do the research!

Railr... RailroadGirl

You also need the sun for Vitamin D. It is the best natural way of getting it. I've always been a person since my teen years to lay out and suntan. I'm pushing 40 and my skin isn't leathery and no signs of cancer spots. I think I can count on 1 hand how many times I've used sunscreen even on my boys. I just can't take anymore of this causes cancer oh wait not that but this does. Its a never ending visous cycle.

Manth... Manthie717

Amen to everyone who is supporting the sun for good health. Sunscreens/blockers are useless and are known to cause more cancers than the sun itself. I just turned 49 and as a teenager I would skinny dip in a nearby pond, lay my towel out and get tanned without tan lines. I was the envy of all my friends when school would start again in the fall. I still lay out in the sun (but get tan lines) and I don't have leathery skin and no cancer spots. God created the sun for it's benefits to our health, NOT to kill us. I live in PA and had a Dr. tell me I had a Vitamin D deficiency in November..I had the test repeated in June and my deficiency was non-existent..go figure.

Mel Peet

The FDA website actually promotes limiting time in the sun and wearing sunscreen. promotes limiting sun exposure and use of sunscreens. It also states that:

"Whenever possible, it is better to get vitamin D from your diet or vitamin supplements rather than from sun exposure, because dietary sources and vitamin supplements do not increase risk for skin cancer, and are typically more reliable ways to get the amount you need".

The Melanoma Institute's website does not list the use of sunscreen as a risk factor.

Joanna N Josh Bickle

Um hello?  The sun doesn't cause cancer but sunscreen does?  I was recently diagnosed with malignant melanoma.  I NEVER wore sunscreen.  Luckily I was able to have a wide localized excision where the melanoma was cut out (along with a parameter of healthy tissue) before it spread.  By all means though -  Keep yourself healthy by roasting in the sun sans sunscreen.  Idiots.

jennk31 jennk31

I agree , it is a scam between sun screen sellers and cancer ads and such. if the sun was so damn bad , people would of been extinct a long time ago. the chemicals they push on everyone is what causes cancer

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