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Arch Hellen Med, 36(1), January-February 2019, 107-113


Sun protection: A pilot intervention study in kindergartens of the Municipality of Amarousion

Μ. Saridi, K. Souliotis
Department of Social and Educational Policy, University of the Peloponnese, Corinth, Greece

OBJECTIVE To provide parents and teachers with current information on solar radiation, in order for them to adopt healthier behavior concerning the sun protection of children.

METHOD An educational program was designed specifically for the parents and teachers of children attending the daycare centers and kindergartens in the Municipality, Athens, Greece. An anonymous standardized questionnaire was used to investigate the knowledge levels and attitudes before and after the implementation of the educational program. The data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), v. 22.0.

RESULTS Before the initiation of the program, 146 parents and teachers completed the questionnaires, and 117 after attending the program. The majority of the participants (95.2%) stated that they knew what a malignant melanoma was, 21% of the parents said their child had had 5–10 moles on their body, but only 23.2% had taken the child to a doctor to have the moles checked. Although 87.9% of the participants said they always applied sunscreen to their children, only 49.6% used an SPF 40+ sunscreen. After the intervention program, the percentage of parents who used the correct type of sunscreen increased (50% vs 78.4%). The incidence of solar burns in the children was reduced after the educational intervention.

CONCLUSIONS A continuing systematic implementation of sun protection campaigns that includes schoolchildren of all levels, their families and communities, could result in the adoption of healthier skin care behavior, lowering the risk of skin damage and a better status of health and well-being.

Key words: Health education, Melanoma, Skin cancer, Sun protection, Sunscreen.

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