Limited sun safety education in high school curricula: a pilot study and call to action

Raghav Tripathi, Nina L. Tamashunas, Laura Xiang, Elanee Simmons, Rishabh S. Mazmudar, Jeremy S. Bordeaux, Jeffrey F. Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Although tanning is widespread, the use of both indoor and outdoor tanning most often begins in adolescence and young adulthood and is more prevalent in adolescents and young adults (AYA) than any other age group. Despite this, information regarding sun safety education in high school curricula is limited. In this pilot study, we sought to characterize the presence of education regarding sun safety in the curricula of US public high schools. Cross-sectional survey administered to random sample stratified by state of public high schools in the US. 31 high schools from 22 states submitted survey responses (Fig. 1). Ten high schools (32.2%) provided curricula regarding sun safety. Southern high schools were less likely to provide sun safety education (p = 0.01). The lack of an association between sociodemographic characteristics of the high school and the provision of sun safety curricula suggests that the lack of sun safety education may be widespread. These findings support a call to action regarding further research to better characterize the efficacy of implementing sun safety education in high school curricula. Educational interventions designed to inform high school students about sun safety present a unique opportunity to intervene in the rising skin cancer rates in the AYA population. As rates of skin cancer in AYA continue to rise, it is vital to develop strategies to implement education regarding sun safety and skin cancer risk factors in high school curricula.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalArchives of Dermatological Research
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • AYA
  • Adolescent
  • Cross-sectional
  • Curricula
  • Education
  • High school
  • Pilot study
  • Policy
  • Skin cancer
  • Sunscreen
  • Survey
  • Tanning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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