In a new paper published in JAMA Network Open, the MyVoice team has shared recent findings from the MyVoice survey initiative that provides insights into what may be preventing US youth from using consistent sun protection.
Based on youths’ desire for increased product accessibility, cost and inconvenience are likely barriers preventing consistent sunscreen use. Approximately 40% of those surveyed believe poor sun protection behaviors would improve with education specifically illustrating the consequences of sun damage. Strategies suggested by youth to increase the use of sun protection include increasing sunscreen accessibility, widely distributed media campaigns, and improved government policies to strengthen sun protection standards and education in schools and workplaces.
The paper’s findings also suggest that while youth understand the short and long-term risks of sun damage, many have difficulty successfully implementing sun protection. Despite nearly all youth (90.1%) stating they use sunscreen, a high number of respondents self-reported sun damage. This suggests public health personnel and clinicians must change their approach to skin protection if they wish to help prevent sunburns during childhood and adolescence and, ultimately, decrease the risk of skin cancer later in life.
The full paper is available on the JAMA Network Open.