Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

The Role of the Global Solar UV Index for Sun Protection of Children in German Kindergartens

Version 1 : Received: 30 December 2021 / Approved: 31 December 2021 / Online: 31 December 2021 (11:56:09 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Gefeller O, Mathes S, Uter W, Pfahlberg AB. The Role of the Global Solar UV Index for Sun Protection of Children in German Kindergartens. Children. 2022; 9(2):198. https://doi.org/10.3390/children9020198 Gefeller O, Mathes S, Uter W, Pfahlberg AB. The Role of the Global Solar UV Index for Sun Protection of Children in German Kindergartens. Children. 2022; 9(2):198. https://doi.org/10.3390/children9020198

Journal reference: Children 2022
DOI: 10.3390/children9020198

Abstract

More than twenty-five years ago the Global Solar UV index (UVI) has been introduced as a simple means of visualizing the intensity of ultraviolet radiation and to alert people to the need for sun protection. In our survey among directors of 436 kindergartens in southern Germany we investigated the level of awareness and knowledge about the UVI as well as the practical consequences for sun protection in kindergartens. Less than half of the directors (n=208, 47.7%) had ever heard of the UVI, and only a small minority of them (n=34, 8.7%) used the daily UVI information to adapt sun protective measures in their kindergartens. Detailed knowledge about the UVI was a rarity among the respondents. The proportion of respondents with self-perceived detailed UVI knowledge was five times higher than actual knowledge assessed by an in-depth structured interview using open-ended questions about the UVI (14.2% vs. 2.8%). No clear relationship of UVI awareness, knowledge, and use to directors' age and gender was found. The UVI-related variables also showed no association with directors' knowledge of risk factors for skin cancer and their attitudes towards tanned skin. Overall, the results paint a sobering picture regarding the penetration of the UVI into sun protection policies of German kindergartens. Future public health campaigns should target increasing awareness and understanding of the UVI as well as its importance for sun protection of children.

Keywords

health attitudes; health knowledge; skin cancer; sun protection; ultraviolet radiation; UV index

Subject

MEDICINE & PHARMACOLOGY, Pediatrics

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