An evaluation of body surface area covered by school uniforms in Queensland primary schools

Harrison, Simone, Nikles, Jane, Turner, Denise, Cohen, Hilla, and Nowak, Madeleine (2013) An evaluation of body surface area covered by school uniforms in Queensland primary schools. In: Annals of the Australasian College of Tropical Medicine (14) p. 26. From: Townsville Health Research Week, 10-16 October 2013, Townsville, QLD, Australia.

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Background / Aims: To conduct a baseline assessment of body surface area coverage of school uniforms in primary schools in five Queensland regions.

Methods: In 2012/2013, the surface area (SA) of the body covered by the most prominent regulation summer school uniform was assessed using body maps, allocating a percentage for each section of the body, excluding the head.

Results: 482 uniforms (243 boys and 239 girls uniforms) from 244 primary schools (Mackay 40, Rockhampton 37, Mt Isa 21, Toowoomba 60 and Sunshine Coast 86) were assessed. 222 (91.0%) schools were metropolitan/urban and 22 (9.0%) were rural/remote. Ninety-nine (20.5%) private and 383 (79.1%) state school uniforms were assessed. The total SA ranged from 58.3% to 65%, with 91.5% covering a SA of 61.9%. The majority of dresses (81.8%) covered 50.9% of the body. Skorts, shorts, culottes, ruggers and skirts covered around 20%, shirts around 30%, and shoes/socks around 12%. The proportion of uniforms covering 62.4-65% of body SA was very low, and there were significant differences between locations: Toowoomba (12%), Rockhampton (9.6%); Mackay (6.2%), Sunshine Coast (3.5%) and Mt Isa (0%) (p=0.014), There were no significant differences in SA between boys and girls uniforms (p=0.273). 19.2% of private schools had a SA of 62.4-65%, compared to 3.4% of public schools. (p=0.000).

Conclusion: The body surface area covered by summer school uniforms did not provide children with adequate protection from ultraviolet radiation and skin cancer risk. Further work with primary schools in Queensland is needed to improve sun protection afforded by school uniforms.

Item ID: 31346
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
ISSN: 1448-4706
Keywords: body surface area, school uniforms, sun exposure, Queensland, primary schools
Additional Information:

Published in the Annals of the ACTM: the Official Journal of The Australasian College of Tropical Medicine. Volume 14, Issue 1, October 2013.

Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2014 01:38
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111716 Preventive Medicine @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920412 Preventive Medicine @ 100%
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