Assessment of elementary school students' sun protection behaviors. Academic Article uri icon


  • Studies suggest that excessive sun exposure in childhood contributes to the development of skin cancer later in life.This study explores 4th grade student assessment of their sun protection behaviors. This study used baseline data collected in the Fall of 2006 for the Sun Protection for Florida's Children (SPF) project. In brief, the SPF project is a group randomized trial to test the effectiveness of a school based intervention promoting sun protection in general, and hat use in particular, in Hillsborough County Schools, Florida. The data reported in this study were collected at baseline before any intervention activities was initiated.The self-reported use of various methods of sun protection was low. Only a small percentage of students wore long sleeves or a hat with a brim before leaving for school. In addition, few students wore a hat with a wide brim when outside but not at school. Students spent an average of 59.1 minutes per week outdoors while attending school and 35.5 minutes during peak sun exposure.Sun exposure at school poses a significant risk to student health and more needs to be carried out to promote the use of a wide-brimmed hat and limiting student sun exposure.