The Impact of the Kidskin Sun Protection Intervention on Summer Suntan and Reported Sun Exposure: Was it Sustained?
Computing, Health and Science
Exercise, Biomedical and Health Science, Child Health Promotion Research Centre
Background. Recognition that early sun exposure is an important risk factor for cutaneous melanoma in white populations has led to efforts to reduce children's sun exposure. ‘Kidskin’ was a non-randomized, school-based sun protection intervention trial in Perth, Western Australia (1995–1999). Its aim was to determine the extent to which such a program could reduce children's sun exposure. Methods. Kidskin involved 1614 children assigned to one of three groups: a Control, a ‘Moderate’ and a ‘High’ intervention group of 14, 11 and 8 schools respectively. The unit of assignment was the school. Control schools received the standard health education curriculum, while intervention schools received a multi-component intervention including a specially designed curriculum. The High intervention group received additional components. Outcomes included parent reported sun-related behaviors and objectively measured suntan at the end of summer vacation. These outcomes were observed every 2 years. Statistical analyses allowed for correlations between students within schools. Results. Kidskin initially had favorable effects on reported sun exposure and measured suntan. However, at the end of the 4-year program, and again 2 years later, little evidence of a favorable effect remained. Conclusions. The benefits of childhood sun protection interventions may not last beyond the life of the program.