Objective: To determine the sunburn experience and factors associated with sunburn among white children aged 6 months to 11 years.
Methods: Telephone interviews were conducted with parents and primary caretakers of children, selected by random, stratified sampling, in the contiguous United States in the summer of 1998. Information was gathered on demographic characteristics of parents and children, and children's sunburn experience during the past year, protection from sun exposure, and hours per week spent outdoors. The proportion of children experiencing sunburn in the past year was calculated. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted to determine factors associated with sunburn. Information for 1052 white children was available for the analyses.
Results: An estimated 42.6% of U.S. white children experienced one or more sunburns within the past year (95% CI 38.2-47.0). Sunburn was less common among children who ever wore hats (adjusted OR 0.59, 95% CI 0.40-0.87) and more common among children who did not always wear sunscreen (OR for using sunscreen sometimes compared with always, 2.25; 95% CI 1.31-3. 86). Sunburn was also more common among children with sun-sensitive skin and older children.
Conclusions: A large proportion of U.S. white children experience sunburns. Parents and children may benefit from education about protection from sun exposure.