Sunscreen for kids, does it really matter?
The dogma is that we need to encourage our children to use sunscreen not just to avoid the pain of an acute sunburn now but to lessen the risk of melanoma latter in life. But is all the hassle really worth it?. A population-based, case-control family study was conducted in Australia to examine this issue. The identified 603 participants who were diagnosed with melanoma between the ages of 18 and 40 years, and 1088 controls, including 478 unrelated controls and 610 siblings. They questioned all on childhood sunscreen use and found that unprotected sun exposure was significantly associated with melanoma risk (OR, 1.8). This risk was especially strong for people who reported using sunscreen to stay in the sun longer and those with lighter pigmentation. So although they may squirm and scream when you try to slather them up you should know, sun exposure in children without the protection of sunscreen resulted in an increase risk of melanoma as a young adult. So yes, it is worth the hassle!