Funding sources The study has been supported by a grant from the Verein zur Förderung des Tumorzentrums der Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg e.V.
EPIDEMIOLOGY AND HEALTH SERVICES RESEARCH
A comparison of patterns of sun protection during beach holidays and everyday outdoor activities in a population sample of young German children
Article first published online: 14 MAR 2012
© 2012 The Authors. BJD © 2012 British Association of Dermatologists 2012
British Journal of Dermatology
Volume 166, Issue 4, pages 803–810, April 2012
How to Cite
Li, J., Uter, W., Pfahlberg, A. and Gefeller, O. (2012), A comparison of patterns of sun protection during beach holidays and everyday outdoor activities in a population sample of young German children. British Journal of Dermatology, 166: 803–810. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2012.10805.x
Conflicts of interest None declared.
- Issue published online: 27 MAR 2012
- Article first published online: 14 MAR 2012
- Accepted manuscript online: 9 JAN 2012 03:55PM EST
- Accepted for publication 27 December 2011
Background Reducing exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the main effective measure for preventing skin cancer. Educational campaigns targeting sun protection have been focused either on behaviour on the beach during the summer holiday alone, or during everyday outdoor activities of the children. Little is known about the comparison between these different settings.
Objectives To analyse whether parents apply similar protective measures to reduce UV exposure for their young children in different outdoor environments.
Methods Families (n = 2619) with children aged 3–6 years (response: 64·7%) were enrolled in a population-based survey in the German city of Erlangen and its surrounding rural county. Using a self-administered standardized questionnaire parents gave information about demographic and photosensitivity data of their children, their knowledge about risk factors for skin cancer and their typical instructions given to their children when these played outside on a summer day in different outdoor environments.
Results Significant discrepancies regarding the four UV protective measures (clothes, shade, sunhat, sunscreen) for children between an everyday outdoor setting and a holiday setting on the beach were observed. A high level of parental risk factor knowledge was significantly associated with a better protection for children in all four measures only on the beach. Photosensitivity and demographic characteristics had some impact on protective behaviour, too. Measures of sun protection were reduced with children’s increasing age.
Conclusions Skin cancer prevention campaigns should target the encouragement of sun protection for children also in outdoor activities of daily living, not only during a summer holiday on the beach.