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An AU school adds sunglasses to compulsory uniforms

Recognizing the need to protect young childrens eyes from the damaging effects of the suns UV rays, Arncliffe Public School in Australia has added ophthalmologist approved sunglasses to their school uniform.  Beginning this fall, all students K-6 will be given the sunglasses to be worn during all outdoor activities. For now the school is supplying the sunglasses free of charge to the students.


This school currently has several other sun safety measures in place including a No hatPlay in the shade policy.  If a child does not have a hat on, he/she is made to stay under a shade structure during outdoor activities.


The education minister of New South Wales State is encouraged by the reception that Arncliffe has received from parents and students and is now considering making sunglasses mandatory at all public schools in the state.



Arncliffe Public School: 

Carney, M (2007, July 31). School adds sunglasses to compulsory uniform. USA Today, Retrieved July 31, 2007, from

Sikora, K (2007, July 31). Future's so bright. The Daily Telegraph, Retrieved July 31, 2007, from,22049,22159230-5006007,00.html?from=public_rss

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U of Miami study: Hispanic teens take more skin cancer risks

A study published in the August 2007 issue of the Journal of American Medical Associations Archives of Dermatology reveals that white Hispanic (WH) high school students were more likely to take skin cancer risks than their white non-Hispanic (WNH) peers.  A team at the University of Miamis Miller school of Medicine conducted a pilot survey study of 369 students at a Miami high school.  The survey measured the two groups skin cancer knowledge, perceived risk, and sun protective behaviors.


The researchers adjusted the results for age, sex, family history, and skin sensitivity to sun.  Even after those adjustments were made, the results showed that the WH students were more likely to tan deeply; they were 60% less likely to have heard of skin self-exams and 70% less likely to have been taught how to perform them.  In addition, WH students were 2 times less likely to wear sunscreen (SPF 15+) and 1.8 times less likely to wear sun protective clothing.  Adding to their risk, they were found to be 2.5 times more likely to patron tanning facilities than WNH students. 



Ma, F, Collado-Mesa, F, Hu, S, & Kirsner, RS (2007). Skin cancer awareness and sun protection behaviors in white Hispanic and white non-Hispanic high school students in Miami, Florida. Archives of Dermatology, 143(8), 983-988.

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Tanning: What can be done to change teens behavior?

In the August 2007 issue of the Archives of Dermatology, Dr. Ann Haas writes an editorial summarizing sun safety attitudes and behaviors among teens.  She addresses the barriers that the public health industry faces in changing teenagers tanning attitudes.  Dr. Haas reviews the University of Miami study on skin cancer awareness and sun protective behaviors among white Hispanic and white non-Hispanic high school students as well as three other recent studies on teen and tans.  Her article, Teens and Tans: Implementing Behavioral Change, notes that despite disparities in behaviors among groups of teens, the knowledge that sun exposure causes skin cancer was comparable.  Dr. Haas writes that the problem lies in their attitudes about the benefits of tanning.  Indoor tanning yields immediate benefits for the impatient teen.  In addition, the media and fashion industry portray a tan as healthy and beautiful. 


Dr. Haas concludes her article with the recommendation that focusing on appearance based interventions might be more productive than knowledge based interventions.  In other words, send a new message to teens that provides healthy alternatives to tanning, emphasizes the unsightly physical consequences of tanning, and works to change societys impression that tanned skin is attractive. 



Haas, AF (2007).Teen and tans: Implementing behavioral change. Archives of Dermatology. 143(8), 1058-1061. 

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