Beach vacations may put kids at higher risk for skin cancer as they get
older, research shows. A study on Colorado children found those who
vacationed at the shore had a higher frequency of moles that could become cancerous down the line. Researchers say the extended time in the strong sunshine at the beach is likely to blame.
Melanoma rates are on the rise in the United States - more than 62,000
Americans are now diagnosed each year. One of the risk factors for melanoma is a higher frequency of moles on the skin.
Research on children in Colorado finds that beach vacations may raise the risk for serious skin cancer by increasing the number of moles on the children's bodies.
Doctors from the Colorado School of Public Health studied more than 650 7-year-olds and found those who vacationed at the shore had 5 percent more moles, putting them at higher risk for later skin cancer.
Time in the sun at home was not related to mole frequency, so researchers suspect the strong sun at the beach may be the key trigger.
Kids at the beach often spend many hours in the sun with little shade or
Experts recommend parents always use high SPF sun block on their children, keep them out of the sun between 10 and 2 during the day, and use protective clothes whenever possible.