More Tweens Forego Sunscreen for Tans

Amanda Elser

According to a recent study led byDr. Stephen W. Dusza from New York’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center about 3/4 of tweens go without sunscreen for a more “fashionable” tan.

The study followed a group of Massachusetts fifth-graders, aged around 10 at the start of the study, from 2004 to 2007.

When first asked, half of the 360 participants regularly used sunscreen – but three years later, when asked again, a majority – 75 percent of boys and girls – said they did not use sunscreen because they wanted to be tan.

These are some alarming statistics considering the recent facts that have come out about sun damage in the last decade.

Dr. Dusza went on Good Morning America to talk about the study. “When you ask kids or teens about tanning, they say people look better with a tan, and tanning has a very positive association in kids of this age, so trying to get them to limit this behavior is a difficult message to get across.”

It seems as if health messages have been diluted by mainstream media, with a huge disconnect between what these pre-adolescents should be doing and what they are doing.

Don’t these kids know that leather skin is so out? And cancer-free is so in? We all know that getting through to a teen is next to impossible, but what do you think health professionals can do to get their attention? Or should it be left up to the parents to enforce daily sunscreen application? We want to know what you think!

[Daily Mail]

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