252821 Healthy children, healthy community : Exploring children's sun protection behaviors and policies in Romanian kindergartens

Monday, October 31, 2011

Dumitrela Matrona Negura, BA , Center for Health Policy and Public Health, Institute for Social Research, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Alexandra Brinzaniuc , Faculty of Political, aDministrative and Communication Sciences, Babes-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca, Center for Health Policy and Public Health, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Ioana Andreea Rus , Center for Health Policy and Public Health, "Babes-Bolyai" University Cluj-Napoca, Romania, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Catalin Ovidiu Baba , Center for Health Policy and Public Health, Institute for Social Research Faculty of Political, Administrative and Communication, "Babes-Bolyai" University Cluj-Napoca, Romania, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Razvan Mircea Chereches , Center for Health Policy and Public Health Institute for Social Research Faculty of Political, Administrative and Communication, "Babes-Bolyai" University Cluj-Napoca, Romania, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Background: Reducing excessive sun exposure can be a step in reducing skin cancer incidence among young and middle-aged populations. Because healthy behaviors are formed at an early age, kindergartens can encourage sun-safe behavior formation. Sun protection policies are efficient ways to increase sun protection practices in educational settings. However, Romania lacks the necessary policies that could act as framework for promoting sun safety in children. Methods: The analysis used data from a cross-sectional study assessing children's sun exposure and sun protection behaviors and parental attitudes in a sample of kindergartens in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. In addition, we conducted a survey with management representatives from 70 kindergartens from Cluj-Napoca, regarding sun protection policy and practices employed. International recommendations, together with effective sun protection policies implemented in kindergartens and schools from several countries were reviewed. Results: This study's findings suggest that children between 3 and 6 years old in our sample in Cluj-Napoca are at increased risk due to high sun exposure and moderate sun protection practices. In terms of institutional policies, the result shows that Romanian kindergartens lack not only sun protection policies but also programs promoting children's sun safe behavior. Discussion: Adopting a sun protection policy for kindergartens could lower children sun exposure. This pilot study's findings contribute to the development of adequate policies that protect children from this public health risk in Romania and improve community health. In addition, this study brings the issue up on the policy agenda for the first time and provides practical information to policymakers.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1.Identify childrenís sun exposure patterns 2.Identify childrenís sun protection behavior 3.Evaluate kindergartenís sun protection policies and practice for the first time in Cluj-Napoca, Romania 4.Formulate sun protective policy alternatives for the health of the community

Keywords: Children's Health, Public Policy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because i was involved directly in the development of the study.
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.