It is a popular misconception that only fair-skinned people need to be concerned about overexposure to the sun. While it is true that darker skin has indeed more protective melanin pigment and therefore lower incidence of skin cancer, skin cancers do occur with this group as well. This misconception is one reason darker-skinned people are usually diagnosed at a later, more potentially fatal stage, whereas most skin cancers are curable if caught and treated in a timely manner.
It is also important to note that the risks of UV radiation-related health effects on the eye and immune system, are independent of skin type.
Babies and children especially require special protection as they are at a higher risk of suffering damage from exposure to UV radiation than adults. A child's skin is thinner and more sensitive and even a short time outdoors in the midday sun can result in serious burns. Epidemiological studies have also shown that frequent sun exposure and sunburn in childhood set the stage for high rates of melanoma later in life.
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