Studies show sunburns on your kids backs are more likely to lead to melanoma—the deadliest form of skin cancer—than burns in any other location, new research from Harvard found.
In the study, people who suffered sunburns on their back—even just one—were more than twice as likely to develop melanoma than those who’d never sunburned.
So why’s your back so susceptible to the sun?
It may be because your back is much less likely to receive regular exposure to the sun than your face, arms, or legs are, says study author Shaowei Wu, Ph.D.
And that level of intensive sun not only sends your risk of sunburn soaring, but also the subsequent threat of melanoma, Wu says.
It’s vital to keep young backs and bodies protected from the sun.
Protect your kids with UPF 50+ wear and when the shirt comes off, the sunblock goes on. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using one with broad-spectrum protection of 30 SPF or higher, and apply every two hours.