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Protection from Ultraviolet Radiation during Childhood: The Parental Perspective in Bavaria

Department of Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology, Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen D-91054, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Daniela Haluza, Stana Simic and Hanns Moshammer
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(10), 1011;
Received: 26 August 2016 / Revised: 29 September 2016 / Accepted: 10 October 2016 / Published: 14 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue UV-Radiation: From Physics to Impacts)
PDF [290 KB, uploaded 14 October 2016]


During childhood, parents play a vital role in sun protection of their children. Their guidance is essential for avoiding excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, a risk factor for developing skin cancer in later life. In a population-based cross-sectional study conducted between October 2011 and February 2012, we assessed how 3281 parents implemented sun protection for their three- to six-year-old children in practice. In particular, clothing, shade-seeking behavior, wearing of sunhats and sunglasses, use of sunscreens and the amount of time spent outdoors were ascertained in two settings (beach, garden/playground). The results showed that the overall level of parental sun protection for their children in the beach setting, and to a lesser extent also in the everyday outdoor setting, is relatively high. Using sunscreens with a high sun protection factor and instructing children to wear a sunhat were very common. Lesser attention was paid to sun-protective clothing, seeking the shade and wearing sunglasses. The amount of time spent outdoors during summer days was high. Therefore, the recommendation to completely avoid sun exposure during peak UV times around noon during summertime needs to be reinforced. In addition, the observed difference in the protective behavior between the beach and an everyday outdoor setting points to the necessity to encourage better sun protection for children also in outdoor activities of daily living. View Full-Text
Keywords: children; skin cancer; primary prevention; sun protection; ultraviolet radiation children; skin cancer; primary prevention; sun protection; ultraviolet radiation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Gefeller, O.; Uter, W.; Pfahlberg, A.B. Protection from Ultraviolet Radiation during Childhood: The Parental Perspective in Bavaria. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 1011.

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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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