Letters to the Editor

Sun Protection for Children


Am Fam Physician. 2000 Feb 15;61(4):959-960.

to the editor: We recently reported the results of a community-based intervention that increased the sun protection of children.1 The intervention involved schools and day care centers, primary care practices and recreation areas. Outcomes of the intervention were determined by observing actual sun protection of children at the beach. At baseline in intervention towns, 53 percent of the children were fully protected from the sun by clothing, sunscreen or shade. At follow-up, this proportion increased to 74 percent while the rates in control towns did not change substantially between baseline and follow-up.

The school program and the primary care office intervention have been described elsewhere.2,3 In addition, intervention materials relevant to schools through grade 4, day care centers and primary care offices are now available at the following Web site: http://nccc.hitchcock.org/sunsafe.htm.


1. Dietrich AJ, Olson AL, Sox CH, Stevens M, Tosteson TD, Ahles T, et al. A community-based randomized trial encouraging sun protection for children. Pediatrics 1998;102:E64. Article can be found online at: http://www.pediatrics.org/cgi/content/full/102/6/e64.

2. Grant-Petersson J, Dietrich AJ, Sox CH, Winchell CW, Stevens MM. Promoting sun protection in elementary schools and child care settings: the SunSafe Project. J Sch Health. 1999;69:100–6.

3. Dietrich AJ, Olson AL, Sox CH, Winchell CW, Grant-Petersson J, Collison CW. Sun protectioncounseling for children: primary care practice patterns and impact of an intervention on clinicians. Arch Fam Med. (In press).

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This series is coordinated by Kenny Lin, MD, MPH, Associate Deputy Editor for AFP Online.



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