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Hawaii Med J. 2010 Nov;69(11):274-7.

"Sun Safe Kids," implementing a low cost, school-based public policy to protect Hawaii's children from skin cancer risks.

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  • John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813, USA.


The rates of melanomas and skin cancers are increasing in the United States. Children attending elementary schools are in the most danger of acquiring these diseases later in life, and elementary school children in Hawaii have the greatest risk of all children in the United States. The parents and educators of Hawaii's elementary school age children are unaware of the potential risks for cancer that young children experience every day at school. Effective sun protection policies have been implemented in other jurisdictions, including Australia, that have similar risks for over-exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation in children. These proven policy models can inform sun protection practices in Hawaii. A simple policy whereby public elementary schools require that children wear ordinary long sleeves shirts and hats during the school's outdoor activities will protect Hawaii's children from overexposure to sun's ultraviolet radiation. Establishment of a state law codifying the implementation of this simple, yet scientifically proven strategy into the policies of Hawaii's public elementary schools can significantly reduce the incidence and deaths from melanoma and skin cancer in the state.

Hawaii Medical Journal Copyright 2010.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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