Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Pediatrics. 2002 Jun;109(6):1009-14.

Use of sunscreen, sunburning rates, and tanning bed use among more than 10 000 US children and adolescents.

Author information

  • 1Department of Dermatology, School of Medicine, Cancer Prevention and Control Center, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts 02118, USA. ageller@bu.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To describe the association of sunscreen use, sunburning, and tanning bed use by age, sex, residence, and psychosocial variables associated with tan-seeking behaviors, and to compare these findings with sun protection recommendations from federal agencies and cancer organizations.

METHODS:

A cross-sectional study, from all 50 states, of 10 079 boys and girls 12 to 18 years of age in 1999. Data were collected from self-report questionnaires with the children of the participants from the Nurses Health Study (Growing Up Today Study).

RESULTS:

The prevalence of sunscreen use was 34.4% with girls more likely to use sunscreen than boys (40.0 vs 26.4, odds ratio: 1.86; 95% confidence interval: 1.70-2.03). Eighty-three percent of respondents had at least 1 sunburn during the previous summer, and 36% had 3 or more sunburns. Nearly 10% of respondents used a tanning bed during the previous year. Girls were far more likely than boys to report tanning bed use (14.4 vs 2.4), and older girls (ages 15-18) were far more likely than younger girls (ages 12-14) to report tanning bed use (24.6% vs 4.7). Tanning bed use increased from 7% among 14-year-old girls to 16% by age 15, and more than doubled again by age 17 (35%; N = 244). Multivariate analysis demonstrated that attitudes associated with tanning, such as the preference for tanned skin, having many friends who were tanned, and belief in the worth of burning to get a tan, were generally associated with sporadic sunscreen use, more frequent sunburns, and increased use of tanning beds.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our findings suggest that many children are at subsequent risk of skin cancer because of suboptimal sunscreen use, high rates of sunburning, and tanning bed use. Recommendations in the United States for improved sun protection and avoidance of tanning beds and sunburning, which began in the early 1990s, have been primarily unheeded. Nationally coordinated campaigns with strong policy components must be developed and sustained to prevent skin cancer in a new generation of children and adolescents.

PMID:
12042536
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk