Background High sun exposure during childhood is an important risk factor for skin cancers at adulthood. Paediatricians are first in line to provide sun protection (SP) information.
Objective To describe paediatricians’ attitudes towards SP counselling and compare French and American paediatricians’ behaviours.
Methods Methodology used by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2001. Validation of the French version of the questionnaire. Survey of all 1108 paediatrician members of the Association Française de Pédiatrie Ambulatoire (AFPA)
Results More than 90% of paediatricians agreed that skin cancers are a Public Health concern, that preventing episodic high sun exposures during childhood would reduce the risk of adult melanoma, and that it is a paediatrician’s role to educate parents/patients on SP. Three quarters reported counselling all of their patients. The most important SP recommendation was to avoid sun during peak hours, followed by sunscreen use. Only 48.3% of paediatricians rated SP as very important to their patients’ health, at the 8th rank among selected preventive care topics. The most frequently identified barrier to SP counselling was cost of sunscreens followed by lack of sufficient time.
Conclusions The majority of paediatricians believe that prevention of skin cancers is a worthy issue and it is their role to educate patients, but less than half of them consider SP as an important topic among selected preventive care issues. Although paediatricians seem to know SP measures well, their (counselling?) seems to respond to patients’ preoccupations more than to expert recommendations. French and American behaviours show some major differences.