Teens poor at sun protection practices

ADOLESCENTS better protect themselves from the sun when they are at school than at other times, primarily because of school rules such as wearing a hat, researchers say.

However, teens are still not using sunscreen enough when at school or elsewhere, the Australian study showed.

Nearly 700 NSW adolescents aged 12 to 18 years were recruited to self-report sun protection behaviour during summer at school, on the weekends, during the holidays and “in general”.

The respondents were asked to report when they wore sunscreen, a hat, stayed in the shade, wore a shirt with sleeves covering shoulders, wore pants or a skirt to at least their knees, wore sunglasses and spent most of the time inside during peak UV hours.

The possible range for answers was 1 for ‘never’ to 5 for ‘always’. 

Sun protection measures were generally poor, with only one of the reported behaviours achieving a mean