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Doctor talks dangers of sunburn, importance of sun safety

MGN

MACON, Ga. -- The blazing hot summer sun can be fun to play in -- but can also have deadly consequences.

"Only in the morning and the evening when the sun is not really hitting is when we try to go out," local mom Connie Sanchez said.

Dr. Len Lichtefeld, deputy chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, says prevention starts early.

"Prevention really starts when we are really young and the risk of skin cancer increases as we get older," he says.

According to the Academy of Dermatology Association, five or more sunburns between ages 15-20 can increases your melanoma risk by 80 percent -- and non-melanoma skin cancer risk by 68 percent.

"There are about 3.3 million people who get skin cancer every year and some of them have more than one diagnoses at the same time," Lichtefeld. "So in fact there are about 5.5. billion skin cancers diagnosed in this country."

Dr. Lichtefeld says skin cancer can appear in different forms.

"If you see a change -- if you see a new spot that shows up on your skin or if you see a change in an old spot that has been there -- go see a health professional and get it checked out," he said.

Sanchez says she applies everything that the doctor suggest to keep her kids safe.

“forehead spray on cheeks just a little bit you know even on their arms try to cover it even on there neck because that's really where it hits.”

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