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Kevin Laven, North Carolina State University PowerPoint Presentation
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Kevin Laven, North Carolina State University

Kevin Laven, North Carolina State University

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Kevin Laven, North Carolina State University

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  1. Skin Cancer Prevention in Recreational Camp Settings Kevin Laven, North Carolina State University INTRODUCTION Over 1.3 million people are diagnosed with skin cancer every year in the United States. Traditionally youth skin cancer prevention efforts have focused on the primary education setting. Through a combination of policy change, education, and environmental change, the Parks and Recreation Partnership for a Healthier Wake implemented a sun safety program (SunSense) in the summer day camps of nine participating municipalities in Wake County, NC. This study focused on measuring the difference in campers knowledge and self-predicted behaviors in a week-long, day camp setting. RESULTS (cont’d) Pearson’s chi-square test reveled a significant improvement between the campers pre- and post-program surveys in these measures: knowing the sun can be dangerous to them, that a shirt and hat can be used to protect themselves from the sun (instead of just sunscreen), everybody needs to protect themselves from the sun (regardless of skin color), they should wear SPF 15 or higher sun block, they will wear hats and long-sleeved shirts more often, they should avoid direct sunlight from 10am to 3pm, suntans do not make people look healthy, suntans are not good for their own skin, they will attempt to play in the shade more often this summer, and the sun does good and bad things to people (helps plants grow but can hurt them too). ABSTRACT Skin cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer in the world. Yet, 78% of diagnosed skin cancers are preventable. The SunSense program was created to educate campers, staff, and administrators on how to increase their sun safety behavior. This program featured an hour-long recreation-based activity for campers to learn about sun safety. The program also held pre-camp trainings for staff and administrators on how (and why) to implement a sun safe behavior program in their camp setting. The purpose of this study was to measure the effectiveness of this multi-component sun safety program on the campers. A total of 1155 campers in 9 different week-long day camps between the ages of 5-12 years old completed the surveys used in this study. The findings showed a positive significant difference in many of the areas tested on knowledge and self-predictive behaviors that relate to sun safety. These data support the notion that skin cancer prevention programs can be effective in the camp setting and is a worthy pursuit for continued cancer prevention efforts outside of the primary school setting. It is believed that a link between skin cancer prevention and recreational camps will lead to increased funding and importance given to camps from the allied health industry. METHODS • Each camp administered surveys on Mondays (pre-program) or on Fridays (post-program), determined by a random number assignment. • Municipalities receiving at least two SunSense trainings were pooled together and then randomly assigned to either the pre- or post- program surveys to determine intra-department effectiveness. • The survey was a modified version of a survey used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its SunWise program in primary schools due to its established validity measures. • Only ‘generalist’ recreational camps were chosen that had a variety of activities (outdoor and indoor activities, outdoor pools). IMPACT ON YOUR CAMP • A sun-safety program can have a positive impact on the skin cancer prevention knowledge and predictive behavior for your campers, making your camp a safer place. • A link created between the skin cancer prevention programs and recreational camps can increase funding avenues for supporting camp activities and general safety. RESULTS 2007 ACA Camp Research Symposium, Austin, Texas