A recent study reveals that children are increasingly diagnosed with melanoma every year. The study looked at records between the years of 1973 and 2009 and found that rates of pediatric skin cancer rose, on average, by two percent each year. The incidence of melanoma, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, has risen by 800 percent among young women and 400 percent among young men.

Melanoma is the deadliest type of skin cancer because, if left untreated, it can go deeper than the skin and spread to your organs and bones. Although melanoma typically comes from spending too much time in the sun, it also tends to run in the family. Melanoma can increase one's chance of having an abnormal or atypical mole. Atypical moles are flat or have a slightly pebbly texture, while others may show odd colors, shapes, or sizes.

Brenda Royer, for instance, one day saw a seemingly inconspicuous red dot on her two-year-old daughter's cheek that had begun to grow.

"It was like a pencil eraser, only larger," Royer, from Tomball, Texas, told ABC News when describing her daughter Kadynce Royer's dangerous birthmark.

In the United States, approximately 500 children are diagnosed with pediatric melanoma every year, according to the National Cancer Institute. Children usually have fairer skin than their parents, but sun exposure plays less of a role in the development of melanoma in children than adults, while genetics plays a larger role. Melanoma can grow more quickly in children than adults, which is why it's imperative to question strange moles or birthmarks early on.

Children who have been diagnosed and treated for melanoma are at an increased risk of reoccurrence. Early detection is thus key to avoid being a statistic.

For little Kadynce, a biopsy of her cheek was sent to three pathology labs. A pediatrician, dermatologist, and plastic surgeon all believed at first that the growth was benign, but six weeks later, she was diagnosed with melanoma. The plastic surgeon was the one most concerned and who took the next step to biopsy her tumor and get a second and then third opinion after her lab test results were positive for melanoma.

"There is that immediate sense of relief that, 'Now we have an answer,'" said Royer. "You have 10 seconds to be sad and then you go to kick-butt-warrior mode."

Melanoma in children usually looks different than the melanoma that adults develop, which makes it harder to distinguish the dangerous beauty marks from the safe. In a 2011 pediatric dermatology study, 60 percent of children with melanoma up to ten years old did not meet the common melanoma-detection criteria, the ABCDE scale that dermatologists and pediatricians use.

Nevertheless, the ABCDEs of skin cancer are useful for home checks:

A: Asymmetry - normal freckles are completely symmetrical, whether they're a circle or an oval, but skin cancer spots cannot be perfectly halved.

B: Border - The border of the mole or birthmark is blurry or jagged.

C: Color - When a mole or mark is more than one shade or color, it's a red flag to have it examined by a doctor. Normal spots are usually just one color.

D: Diameter - A quick way to check if a mole or mark is abnormal is to size it up against a pencil eraser. If it's larger, it needs to be examined.

E: Elevation - The mole or mark is raised above the skin and has an uneven surface, which could have a smooth, rough, or pebbly texture.