A Survey Based Study on the Sun Safety Knowledge of Students Attending Public Schools in San Antonio, TX
1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime but 80% of skin cancer is preventable. According to the World Health Organization, the majority of sun exposure occurs before the age of 18. Because children spend much of their time outdoors, teachers should ensure students have enough knowledge to protect themselves from the sun. After speaking with various educators and parents in the San Antonio, TX community, it became apparent that insufficient knowledge is provided to students and families regarding sun damage and protection. A 1 hour powerpoint presentation was created and given to 3rd grade and 5th grade classes at 10 public elementary schools in San Antonio, TX. An 8 question pre test and post test was also provided to the students. The 8 question test assessed how much the students had learned from the presentation, if they currently protect themselves from the sun, and whether they use sunscreen. 106 students in 3rd grade and 95 students in 5th grade took the pre- and post-test. Both classes improved their score from the pre to the posttest. 3rd graders missed an average of 2.45 questions on the pretest and 2.12 questions on the posttest. 5th graders missed an average of 3.29 questions on the pretest and 1.21 questions on the posttest. Additionally, only 37% of 3rd graders and 15% of 5th graders claimed that they always use sunscreen. From the results of the study, it is apparent that students improved their knowledge regarding sun damage and protection by listening to the presentation. Therefore, it is imperative that children, parents, and teachers continue to be educated in San Antonio, TX so that the next generation can protect themselves from the sun.
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