180541 Sun Safe Schools: Baseline survey in a campaign to motivate adoption of sun protection policies by public school districts in California and Colorado

Monday, October 27, 2008: 8:45 AM

David B. Buller, PhD , Klein Buendel, Golden, CO
Mary Klein Buller, MA , Klein Buendel, Golden, CO
Jeff Ashley, MD , Sun Safety for Kids, Inc., Burbank, CA
Kim D. Reynolds, PhD , School of Community and Global Health, Claremont Graduate University, San Dimas, CA
Simone A. French, PhD , Epidemiology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Xia Liu, MS , Klein Buendel, Golden, CO
The CDC issued guidelines to U.S. schools on programs to prevent skin cancer. A campaign to motivate public school districts to adopt policies to meet CDC's guidelines was developed. The campaign includes personal contact with district administrators, printed materials and website information and tools to write, pass, and implement policies, and presentations to school boards. The program was implemented in California and Colorado and is being evaluated in a randomized trial (n=112 public school districts). In baseline surveys of district administrators and principals (n=694), 19% reported having a district sun protection policy. These policies addressed reducing student's time outdoors at midday (15%), recommended they wear shirts with sleeves (24%), hats with a brim (62%), sunglasses (24%), and sunscreen (39%), and required plans for new construction or renovation of school buildings or grounds include shade (27%). Unfortunately some respondents said their districts had policies that discouraged wearing hats and sunglasses (17%) or required prescriptions for sunscreen (5%) by students. Both types of policies were more prevalent in California than Colorado (p<.001). Another 23% of respondents said their district had standard operating procedures on sun protection for students, rather than formal policies. Also, 52% of administrators felt their district would consider adopting a written sun protection policy for students. While only a minority of school districts had sun protection policies, many administrators and principals were willing to consider adopting them. First steps are to convert standard operating procedures into written policies and reverse existing policies presenting barriers to sun safety.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify methods for motivating public school districts to adopt comprehensive sun protection policies for students. 2. Describe current school district policies and standard operating procedures related to sun protection and willingness to adopt policies in California and Colorado.

Keywords: Policy/Policy Development, School Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the lead scientist on the project supervising all facets of the research design, data collection, and outcome analysis.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.