Teen & tan
In this article we will answer the question of how to talk to a teenager about a tanning.
People who first use a tanning bed before age 35 increase their risk for melanoma by 75 percent. It’s tremendously important to warn teens about the dangers of tanning but getting through to them can be challenging.
Understanding teenagers behavior
Studies show that as soon as children reach adolescence, the influence of parents weakens, as the influence of peers becomes much stronger. For many children, the interest in tanning is actually more related to appearance. Tan still means: “I look sporty, as if I was doing sports in the fresh air, and not like a fool sitting at home alone!” But it's important to remember that parents have a lot of influence: our children are watching us like hawks.
You may not realize it, but you are modeling the behavior of your children all the time. Model healthy outdoor behavior by looking for shade, applying sunscreen, and wearing a wide-brimmed hat.
Teenagers often do not realize what death and aging are and how a tan can affect their health.
Children feel invincible when they are young. This kind of healthy narcissism is part of their psychological development. When children are warned about something like skin cancer, they think it won't happen to them, or it's so far in the future that it doesn't seem real or particularly scary.
It is important for the parent during this period to repeat the message about the fight against sunburn in as many different ways as possible. Don't lash out at your child, but repeat this message whenever you can.
There are different methods of influencing a teenager. For example, for children aged 10 to 12, you can offer incentives or rewards (“If you don't tan, I'll buy you...")
For older guys, you can use a cosmetic argument: "In ten years, do you want to look older than your friends who didn't sunbathe?”, and at the same time show a photo, for example, of a truck driver whose face has aged a lot on the left side of the sun. Some teenagers don't care about their appearance, and for them discussing the health risks associated with tanning can be effective.
Repetition is key — you can never repeat your message too often!
Also, personal stories can be very powerful. There are many parents who can tell their story as an example! Modern medicine is prevention, and education is an important part of it. Most of this education should come from home.
As for teenagers suffering from SAD [seasonal affective disorder, a common mood disorder that causes depression, usually at dusk in winter], going outside in visible light can help. Seeing this light with your eyes helps your brain produce chemicals that promote well-being, so wearing sunscreens does not interfere with this. Activities such as vigorous exercise or hanging out with friends or pets can also help boost his mood.
It is not superfluous to sometimes quote celebrities who speak publicly about skin protection, as well as have experienced various types of skin cancer.
People who drive a lot are more likely to suffer from sunburn and skin cancer on the left side of the face, which receives more ultraviolet (ultraviolet) radiation than the right side.