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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2011 Nov;65(5 Suppl 1):S104-13. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2011.05.036.

Targeting children through school-based education and policy strategies: comprehensive cancer control activities in melanoma prevention.

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Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30341, USA.



Primary school-based educational strategies are proven interventions to raise children's awareness and knowledge about sun safety.


We highlight barriers and facilitators to implementing interventions across multiple populations in 3 state comprehensive cancer control programs/partnerships that implemented primary school-based sun-safety educational programs.


Using a case study approach, we collected semistructured program information and evaluation results from New Mexico's Raising Awareness in Youth about Sun Safety Project, the Sun Protection in Florida Project, and the Arizona SunWise Program.


Each program used different strategies for implementing school-based educational programs in their respective state based on local needs, funding constraints, and unique characteristics of their populations. Barriers to implementation included difficulties reaching schools and school administrators and changes in staff workload. Facilitators to implementation included using innovative recruitment approaches (mini grants, school assemblies), having community partners, reaching out to educators in various settings, and having program advocates within schools. Each program placed emphasis on supplementing educational programs with sun-safety policies.


We only present a case study from 3 comprehensive cancer control programs/partnerships. Rigorous evaluation methods are needed to test the effectiveness of the various strategies that were used to implement these programs on a population-based level.


Partnerships and program advocates are important for successfully implementing and sustaining sun-safety programs. Innovative strategies for reaching school administrators are likely needed to effectively implement sun-safety programs and policies. School policy and environmental change are important and valued components of sun-safety programs.

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