Helping Kids Be More Sun-Safe Is a Challenge: Study
By Kerry Grens
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Sep 12 - Parents are not any more likely to comply with safer sun practices when their kids' pediatricians offer extensive counseling and information, a new study suggests.
Another problem the study found: Kids who exercised were twice as likely to suffer sunburns. That wasn't surprising, but it concerned the authors because the doctors' offices' brochures about exercise were separate from those about sun protection and avoiding rays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. - meaning some kids might get one message, but not the other.
"Physicians are in the habit of writing prescriptions and advising how to use the medication. It is a huge step for physicians to take the step of engaging the parent/child in the decision to change behavior," Dr. June Robinson, the senior author of the study, told Reuters Health by email.
It's possible that the way pediatricians offer such counseling - more as a prescription rather than as a way to engage parents and find ways to change their behavior - led to the results, said Dr. Robinson, a dermatology professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.