Intervention programs can increase children’s sun protection, study says

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Chicago – Using multiple intervention approaches to minimize your child’s sun exposure can increase proper sun protection, results suggest from a new study.

Over a three-month study period, researchers from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Advocate Children’s Hospital in Illinois, and Pennsylvania State University provided 153 caregivers with several different sun protection interventions, including a read-along book, a sun-protective swim shirt and weekly sun-protection reminders sent via text message. A control group of 147 caregivers received only sun-protection information during a well-child visit.

During a follow-up, parents and relatives who received the more in-depth sun protection interventions reported greater use of sun protection methods than the control group. Additionally, children of caregivers in the intervention group did not have a significant increase in melanin levels, whereas children in the control group did.

The results led study authors to suggest a program with multiple interventions could help decrease the risk children face of developing skin cancer.

The study was published online Feb. 8 in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics.

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