If you have a daughter, it’s time to get serious about preaching the value of sun protection. The fashion of dark tanned skin doesn’t seem to be going out of style, and many teens are heading to the tanning booth to get a year-round tan. Young girls are particularly susceptible to the danger of sun exposure. A recent study by the Mayo Clinic showed an alarming eightfold increase in the rate of melanoma diagnosis among young women in the past four decades. As the Mayo Clinic explains:
“Young women are more likely than young men to participate in activities that increase the risk of melanoma, including voluntary exposure to artificial sunlamps. In 1996, a telephone survey conducted by the American Academy of Dermatology found that, despite increased public awareness of the harms of exposure to UV light, the frequency of severe sunburns and tanning bed use had increased and was higher among women. Results from a recent telephone survey reveal that young women are much more likely than young men to participate in indoor tanning.” —Mayo Clinic.
Here are some ways parents can help their daughter be sun safe:
- Parents need to start talking about sun safety at an early age so kids are smart and sun savvy.
- Let your child know that pale is beautiful—point out celebrities who are famous for their beautiful, healthy and tan-free skin, such as Nicole Kidman or Taylor Swift.
- Model sun-safe behavior and always wear sunblock and sunglasses whenever you leave the house.
- Make sun protection fun—let your kids pick out sun hats and sunglasses they love. If they like their hat and sunglasses, they’re more likely to wear them.
- Talk frankly about the dangers of sun exposure with teens and preteens.