Effectiveness of Sun Protection Program for Young Children

I felt this study was important and interesting because it emphasizes sun protection behaviors that may minimize sun damage and lifelong sun protection behaviors that will reduce the likelihood of developing skin cancer. This study was a randomized controlled clinical trial with a 4-week follow-up that included 300 parents who brought their child (2-6 years of age) to a Medical Group clinic. They were randomly assigned to receive a read-along book. swim shirt, and weekly text message reminders related to sun protection behaviors. 147 were randomly assigned to receive the information usually provided at a well-child visit.

Outcomes were caregiver-reported use of sun protection by the child using a 5-point Likert scale, duration of outdoor activities and number of children who had sunburn or skin irritation. Of the 300 caregiver-child pairs, the 153 children in the intervention group had significantly higher scores related to sun protection behaviors. Examination of pigmentary changes revealed that the children in the control group had significantly increased  their melanin levels, whereas the children in the intervention group did not have change.

In conclusion, this intervention was associated with increased sun protection behaviors among young children. Do you think interventions like this could be really helpful? Getting things started in early childhood could really lead to healthy behaviors as adults. This study is really interesting in pointing that out. Also, do you think this study has a flaw in that the results were self-reported? This was a really interesting study in the effects of interventions in young children that could lead to healthy behaviors later in life.

JAMA Pediatr. Published online February 08, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.4373