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J Sch Nurs. 2003 Apr;19(2):93-9.

Evaluation of the SunWise School Program.

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1
Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA.

Abstract

Melanoma, the most fatal form of skin cancer, is rising at rates faster than all other preventable cancers in the United States. Childhood exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light increases the risk for skin cancer as an adult, therefore, starting positive sun protection habits early may be key to reducing the incidence of this disease. The Environmental Protection Agency's SunWise School Program, a national environmental and health education program for sun safety of children in primary and secondary schools (Grades K-8), was evaluated. Pretests (n = 4,559) and posttests (n = 4,016) were completed by students from 85 schools in 35 states. Significant increases were noted for the three knowledge variables. Intentions to play in the shade increased from 70% to 76% (p < 0.001) with more modest changes in intentions to use sunscreen. Attitudes regarding the healthiness of a tan also decreased significantly. Brief, standardized sun protection education can be efficiently interwoven into existing school curricula and result in increases in knowledge and positive intentions for sun protection.

PMID:
12653621
DOI:
10.1177/10598405030190020601
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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