Detecting Melanoma In Children
There are currently no clear guidelines for skin cancer checks in children. However, children can in fact suffer from Melanoma. In fact, the youngest recorded death from melanoma was at 2 years of age, and there have been cases where Melanoma has been passed to an unborn child from maternal Melanoma deposits in the placenta.
This is extremely rare but can result in a child actually being born with Melanoma.
Melanoma that occurs under the age of 40 is thought to be more genetically inheritable and thus, more likely to occur within families. As with a patient that had 3 Melanomas in her early 30's, her children and extended family are 4 times more likely to suffer from melanoma.
Earlier Routine Skin Checks
The usual routine of skin checks starting at the age of 10 years old (every other year) up to the age of 18 years old, should be much earlier for families that are high risk.
Puberty and adolescence should also be particularly monitored - when hormonal changes can activate moles and peer pressure can place demands on the child to engage in activities that may result in sunburn.
One positive with Melanoma families is that they are more actively on the lookout for the disease and seek professional skin cancer consultations early - making their survival rate much higher compared to non-familial Melanoma families.
Melanoma in children and adolescents - http://www.ejcancer.com/article/S0959-8049(03)00694-4/abstract
Nonpigmented Metastatic Melanoma in a Two-Year-Old Girl: A Serious Diagnostic Dilemma - https://www.hindawi.com/journals/crionm/2015/298273/
Skin Cancer Foundation: Melanoma - http://projects.ncsu.edu/project/bio183de/Black/cellcycle/cellcycle_reading/skin_cancer.php.html