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Expatriate Insurance News: Children 'should be educated about sun damage'

Expatriates may wish to educate their children on the value of sunscreen in order to avoid having to make a claim on international private medical insurance policies.

British Skin Foundation communications and press officer Bevis Man claimed specialists know the majority of skin damage resulting from sun exposure takes place before people reach the age of 20.

"It's certainly worth educating children," he declared, noting youngsters like playing outdoors in the sunshine "by their very nature".

Using sunscreen and wearing appropriate clothing can cut the likelihood of young people being harmed by the sun and they should therefore be taught what they can do to protect themselves from dangerous UV rays, the specialist continued.

It is also useful to ensure they understand why avoiding sunburn is so important for their health, Mr Man declared.

Schools could play a role in this as well as mothers and fathers, he noted, pointing out most of the information relating to the danger from the sun faced by children is targeted towards their parents.

While some educational facilities are "very active in this area", others are not and echoing messages about sun safety during school hours would "certainly help" to deal with this issue, the expert remarked.

However, the only way of discovering whether or not these warnings have been effective is by analysing the behaviour of the youngsters when they are adults, Mr Man stated.

A recent survey published in the journal Pediatrics indicated sun damage while young is linked to an elevated risk of developing melanoma.

Furthermore, as children grow up and become teenagers, they have a greater desire to tan but are considerably less likely to use sunscreen, the investigation revealed.

The study was carried out over three years and the rates of sun lotion use declined by a half, yet this habit can heighten the likelihood of a person developing fatal skin cancers, the researchers argued.

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