Effective Sun Safety in Children: A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Multicomponent Program

Summary and Comment |
March 17, 2016

Effective Sun Safety in Children: A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Multicomponent Program

  1. Mary Wu Chang, MD

Interactive interventions produced measurable results.

  1. Mary Wu Chang, MD

Improving sun-protective behaviors in children may minimize sun damage and reduce skin cancer risks later in life. Investigators performed a randomized, controlled clinical trial that included 300 pediatric patients (ages 2–6) and their caregiver; 51% were randomized to receive a read-along book, a swim shirt, and weekly text-messaged questions about sun protection that elicited a yes/no response from caregivers: (“During the past week, did your child wear a hat?”). The control group (49%) received information typically given at a well-child visit.

Caregivers were surveyed about sun exposures and sun irritation/burn at baseline and at 4-week follow-up. Spectrophotometric melanin measurements of the outer upper arm (under the shirt sleeve) were performed at baseline and at 4 weeks. Caregivers received a $20 gift card at baseline and $50 gift card at study completion. The intervention group had significantly higher scores related to sun-protective behaviors and did not have increased melanin levels on the upper arm. The control group had significantly increased melanin levels on the arm. The authors conclude that this multicomponent intervention program led to increased sun-protective behaviors.

Comment

This program achieved improvements in sun-protective behaviors that were objectively quantified (spectrophotometry to measure absence of tanning). Providing sun shirts and read-aloud books (caregiver–child interaction) and reply to texts (staff–caregiver interaction) was far more successful than standard office advice. Honoraria may have also facilitated adherence.

Editor Disclosures at Time of Publication

  • Disclosures for Mary Wu Chang, MD at time of publication Consultant / Advisory board Pierre Fabre; Valeant Speaker’s bureau Pierre Fabre

Citation(s):

Your Comment

(will not be published)

Filtered HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Do you have any conflict of interest to disclose?
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Vertical Tabs

* Required

Reader comments are intended to encourage lively discussion of clinical topics with your peers in the medical community. We ask that you keep your remarks to a reasonable length, and we reserve the right to withhold publication of remarks that do not meet this standard.

PRIVACY: We will not use your email address, submitted for a comment, for any other purpose nor sell, rent, or share your e-mail address with any third parties. Please see our Privacy Policy.