Sunscreen application thickness amongst primary school children : the children and sunscreen study
Hamilton, Abbey (2011) Sunscreen application thickness amongst primary school children : the children and sunscreen study. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.
Childhood sun exposure has been associated with increased risk of developing melanoma later in life. Sunscreen, children.s preferred method of sun protection, has been shown to reduce skin cancer risk. However, the effectiveness of sunscreen is largely dependent on user compliance, such as the thickness of application. To reach the sun protection factor (SPF) sunscreen must be applied at a thickness of 2mg/cm2. It has been demonstrated that adults tend to apply less than half of the recommended 2mg/cm2. This was the first study to measure the thickness at which children apply sunscreen. We recruited 87 primary school aged children (n=87, median age 8.7, 5-12 years) from seven state schools within one Brisbane education district (32% consent rate). The children were supplied with sunscreen in three dispenser types (pump, squeeze and roll-on) and were asked to use these for one week each. We measured the weight of the sunscreen before and after use, and calculated the children.s body surface area (based on height and weight) and area to which sunscreen was applied (based on children.s self-reported body coverage of application). Combined these measurements resulted in an average thickness of sunscreen application, which was our main outcome measure. We asked parents to complete a self-administered questionnaire which captured information about potential explanatory variables. Children applied sunscreen at a median thickness of 0.48mg/cm2, significantly less than the recommended 2mg/cm2 (p<0.001). When using the roll-on dispenser (median 0.22mg/cm2), children applied significantly less sunscreen thickness, compared to the pump (median 0.75mg.cm2, p<0.001), and squeeze (median 0.57mg/cm2, p<0.001) dispensers. School grade (1-7) was significantly associated with thickness of application (p=0.032), with children in the youngest grades applying the most. Other variables that were significantly associated with the outcome variable included: number of siblings (p=0.001), household annual income (p<0.001), and the number of lifetime sunburns the child had experienced (p=0.007). This work is the first to measure children.s sunscreen application thickness and demonstrates that regardless of their age or the type of dispenser that they use, children do not apply enough sunscreen to reach the advertised SPF. It is envisaged that this study will assist in the formulation of recommendations for future research, practice and policy aimed at improving childhood sun protection to reduce skin cancer incidence in the future.
Impact and interest:
Citation counts are sourced monthly from and citation databases.
These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.
Citations counts from theindexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.
Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.
|Item Type:||QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)|
|Supervisor:||Janda, Monika, Neale, Rachel, & Kimlin, Michael|
|Keywords:||amount, application, australia, brisbane, children, dispenser, thickness, primary school, quantity, Queensland, school, sunscreen, sun protection, ultraviolet radiation, UV, UVR, youth|
|Divisions:||Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
|Institution:||Queensland University of Technology|
|Deposited On:||08 Mar 2012 01:29|
|Last Modified:||08 Mar 2012 01:29|
Repository Staff Only: item control page