263162 Promoting sun safety for children in outdoor recreation in a trial on disseminating an evidence-based sun safety program

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 12:30 PM - 12:50 PM

Barbara Walkosz, PhD , Research, Klein Buendel, Inc., Golden, CO
David B. Buller, PhD , Klein Buendel, Golden, CO
Peter Andersen, PhD , School of Communication, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Michael Scott, PhD , San Diego State University - Retired, Auburn, CA
Mark Dignan, PhD , Markey Cancer Center, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Gary Cutter, PhD , Pythagoras Inc., Vestavia Hills, AL
Protecting children from ultraviolet radiation (UV) should reduce risk of skin cancer. One challenge is promoting sun safety in recreation environments where children benefit from physical activity. In a randomized-controlled trial, strategies for disseminating Go Sun Smart (GSS), an evidence-based sun safety program, were evaluated at 68 ski areas in North America. Strategies included a “Basic” industry strategy of promotion through normal channels and distribution of free materials and an “Enhanced” strategy that added face-to-face communication with senior managers based on Diffusion of Innovations Theory. A post-survey with 909 parents measured the sun safety of children at ski/snowboard schools. Children were 49% female and 82% under age 11; 11% had been sunburned at a ski area during the winter. No differences emerged based on dissemination strategy (p>.05). However, parents recalled more sun safety messages when 5+ GSS materials were observed in use in guest-accessible areas. More parents reported that someone at the ski/snowboard school had told them to provide sunscreen, sunglasses/goggles, and a hat for their child when 5+ GSS items were in guest-accessible areas (26%) than <5 items (16%, p=.02). Program use and message recall interacted such that when use was high (5+ items), recall of sun protection messages had broad positive effects on child sun protection (sunscreen, sunscreen lip balm, sunglasses, and overall sun protection, p<.05), but not when it was low (<5 items). Sun safety for children may be effectively promoted in outdoor recreation, but program use needs to be sufficient to expose parents to safety messages.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe how program implementation affects parents' exposure to sun safety messages in an outdoor recreation venue. Demonstrate how sun protection messages can improve the sun safety of children engaged in outdoor recreation.

Keywords: Cancer Prevention, Child Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principal investigator on several large research projects in which effective methods for promoting sun safety to children were developed and evaluated. Among my interests is developing sun safety strategies that can be deployed in outdoor recreation and schools.
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.