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U.S. Children Don't Avoid Sunburn

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ATLANTA, May 25, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- An American Cancer Society report released in Atlanta says the majority of children and adolescents do not do enough to prevent sunburn.

"Children are at especially high risk of harmful sun exposure because of the time they spend outdoors in recreational activities during their summer vacations," said Vilma Cokkinides, program director of risk factor surveillance for the American Cancer Society.

"Parents and caregivers of younger children should ensure that they have adequate sun protection during outdoor activities. Adolescents especially need to be educated about the harmful effects of sun exposure on skin and how they can protect themselves."

The study found fewer than one in three adolescents ages 11 to 18 used any sun protection, such as hats, long sleeved shirts, long pants or sunscreen and 72 percent reported getting a sunburn during the summer.

One in 10 youths ages 11 to 18 used tanning lamps, with girls age 17 to 18 the most likely to use them.

In addition, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta found one in four parents did not require children ages 12 or younger to use any sun protection.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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