Skin cancer, the most common cancer in the United States, is a major public health issue. Exposure to UV radiation (UVR) from sun and artificial sources is the main environmental cause. In 2018, the US Preventive Services Task Force advised clinicians to counsel fair-skinned individuals ages 6 months to 24 years about ways to decrease skin cancer risk, citing evidence-based benefits of counseling. Damage from UVR is cumulative: early-life exposure is thought to raise the risk of developing skin cancer later in life. Protecting skin from excessive UVR starting at young ages is important to decrease this risk and other effects, including sunburn and skin aging. Pediatricians are unlikely to see patients with skin cancer, but pediatric counseling can help families avoid future skin cancer and other UVR-related harms.

The UVR from sunlight includes UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C; UV-A and UV-B have biological significance to humans. Sunlight exposure has many...

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