The impact of the kidskin sun protection intervention on summer suntan and reported sun exposure: was it sustained?

Prev Med. 2006 Jan;42(1):14-20. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2005.11.002. Epub 2005 Dec 5.


Background: Recognition that early sun exposure is an important risk factor for cutaneous melanoma in white populations has led to efforts to reduce children's sun exposure. 'Kidskin' was a non-randomized, school-based sun protection intervention trial in Perth, Western Australia (1995-1999). Its aim was to determine the extent to which such a program could reduce children's sun exposure.

Methods: Kidskin involved 1614 children assigned to one of three groups: a Control, a 'Moderate' and a 'High' intervention group of 14, 11 and 8 schools respectively. The unit of assignment was the school. Control schools received the standard health education curriculum, while intervention schools received a multi-component intervention including a specially designed curriculum. The High intervention group received additional components. Outcomes included parent reported sun-related behaviors and objectively measured suntan at the end of summer vacation. These outcomes were observed every 2 years. Statistical analyses allowed for correlations between students within schools.

Results: Kidskin initially had favorable effects on reported sun exposure and measured suntan. However, at the end of the 4-year program, and again 2 years later, little evidence of a favorable effect remained.

Conclusions: The benefits of childhood sun protection interventions may not last beyond the life of the program.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Community Participation
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Parents
  • Program Evaluation
  • School Health Services
  • Students
  • Sunburn / prevention & control*
  • Sunlight / adverse effects*
  • Sunscreening Agents / therapeutic use
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Western Australia


  • Sunscreening Agents