Campaign to protect children from sun’s harmful rays kicks off


Skin cancer is now affecting people in their twenties, thirties and forties, a dermatologist has told the Telegraaf, as a campaign begins to protect young children from harmful rays.

‘All the 2,200 patients we operate on each year have one thing in common,’ said dermatologist Marlies Wakkee from the Erasmus MC teaching hospital in Rotterdam. ‘Most spent lots of time in the sun as children. They played outside, went on sunny beach holidays. Often they would use no sun screen, or not enough. That is when the damage started.’

Basal cell carcinoma, the most common skin cancer, is increasingly diagnosed in women under forty, the paper reports. The number of cases has gone up by 6% a year and in young men the annual increase is 4%.

In 2016 some 6,800 people were diagnosed with melanoma. The total number of new skin cancer sufferers is put at 52,000, the Telegraaf writes.

This year’s campaign by the melanoma foundation Stichting Melanoom urges parents to slather on the sun screen and not be deterred by their offspring’s protests.

‘Put the sun screen next to the toothpaste and turn putting it on into a morning ritual,’ it advises. ‘Or turn it into a game: put a blob of cream on your nose to make them laugh. They will thank you for it later.’

Wakkee adds, according to the Telegraaf: ‘Sun damage in early youth makes trouble for later, so persist.’






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