Objective: To evaluate a school-based intervention in terms of reducing children's sun exposure and improving their use of sun protection measures.Methods: 'Kidskin' is a five-year, school-based intervention study in Perth, Western Australia, of a cohort of children who were five or six years old in 1995. The study involves three groups: control, 'moderate' and 'high' intervention. Children in the control schools received the standard health curriculum; those in the intervention schools received a multicomponent intervention, including a specially designed curriculum. Children in the high intervention group also received program materials over the summer holidays and were offered sun-protective swimwear at a low cost. After two years, parents completed a questionnaire about their child's sun-related behaviour.Results: Children in the intervention groups - especially the 'high' group - were reported to have had less sun exposure. This involved covering the back more often, spending more time in the shade when outdoors and wearing a style of swimsuit that covered the trunk. There was also evidence that children in the intervention groups spent less time outdoors in the middle of the day. There was little difference between groups in the wearing of hats or sunscreen.Conclusions: Our school-based intervention improved children's sun protection, but had little effect on specific behaviours that have already been vigorously promoted.Implications: School-based prevention campaigns would benefit from focusing on sun protection using clothing and shade, and reducing sun exposure in the middle of the day. There may be little potential to improve hat and sunscreen use.
|Journal||Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health|
|Publication status||Published - 2000|