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Survey: Too Many Teens Getting Too Much Sun

May 25, 2007

A new survey on preventing skin cancer is just in time for the start of summer and finds teenagers are putting themselves at risk. The study by the American Cancer Society discovered teens are slightly more careful to use sunscreen, but continue to suffer sunburns at a high rate, which can have health implications later in life.

Minnesota Cancer Society spokeswoman Janis Rannow says the survey's findings about early and frequent exposure to the sun are disturbing.

"Most teens still view having a tan as being very healthy and a nice look, when, in reality, it can be very dangerous as their life progresses."

Rannow says the recommendations aren't to stay completely out of the sun, but to use common sense.

"Skin cancer is preventable, if you remember to "flip, flop, flap." That means flip on a shirt, flop on a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher, and flap on a hat."

Rannow says sun precautions aren't only for teens; they're important for everyone, especially small children. She advises parents to make sure they're well-protected this summer.

More information is available online at www.cancer.org.

Jim Wishner/Eric Mack, Public News Service - MN