Talking to Teens About Tanning and Sun Protection
A tan may be viewed by many teens as more attractive. It may signify that you’re healthy, spend time outdoors, are athletic or have an active social life. But this look exposes them to dangerous UltraViolet rays and the increased risk of skin cancer.
- Inform your teen on proper sun protection. Emphasize the importance of sunscreen and protective clothing.
- Be a role model. Make sure you are setting an example of healthy outdoor behaviour by seeking shade, and by wearing sunscreen and a broad-brimmed hat for instance.
- Start the talk early. Include tanning in conversations about body image and healthy active bodies.
- Tell them the facts. Melanoma is increasing among young people especially females 15–29 years old.
- If your teen is insistent on the tanned look then a self-tanning product is a less hazardous alternative. Be sure to discuss the risks and benefits of these products to help your teen decide.