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Young Kids Listen to Sun Protection Advice

Study finds programs at sunny spots also work for adults

FRIDAY, Dec. 3, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Education programs can help convince primary school children and adults at the beach to use sun-protective hats and clothing to reduce their risk of skin cancer, says a recent study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Members of the Task Force on Community Preventive Services reviewed dozens of studies and found that there are a number of effective ways to teach children how to protect themselves from the sun. These approaches include some combination of lectures, videos, interactive CD-ROMs, skits, brochures, posters, and material included in science classes.

"Virtually any primary school can be an appropriate environment in which to carry out sun-protection programs," study author Dr. Mona Saraiya, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a prepared statement.

"Skin cancer education programs can be integrated into existing learning situations and support policy and environmental interventions," Saraiya said.

The task force found that children in primary school are more receptive than adolescents to messages about sun protection and to instruction on the topic from teachers and parents.

The review also identified effective methods of promoting sun safety to adults at beaches, zoos, resorts, and other tourist and recreational settings. These approaches include lifeguard training, warning signs, and printed materials.

More information

The American Cancer Society has advice for parents on sun protection for children.

SOURCE: Center for the Advancement of Health, news release, December 2004
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