Sun protection provided by regulation school uniforms worn by primary school students in Queensland during summer

Bates, Nicole, Emeto, Theophilus I., Turner, Denise, Nikles, Jane, and Harrison, Simone L. (2016) Sun protection provided by regulation school uniforms worn by primary school students in Queensland during summer. In: Abstracts from the Townsville Health Research Week 2016. p. 25. From: Townsville Health Research Week 2016: Spotlight on Preventative Health, 12-15 September 2016, Townsville, QLD, Australia.

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Background: Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure is associated with excessive pigmented mole formation in childhood and subsequent melanoma risk. School children receive most of their UVR at school. Body-sites protected by clothing develop fewer moles. School uniforms provide children with a physical barrier to UVR exposure, reducing subsequent melanoma risk. We evaluated the body surface area (BSA) covered by Queensland primary school regulation uniforms to determine if coverage varied by region, gender or school ownership.

Method: Publicly available uniform images and guidelines were sought for all primary and combined schools in 10 Queensland regions in a cross-sectional study conducted 2009-2014. BSA of the regulation summer uniform (each gender) was determined for each body-site, excluding the head using an established method.

Results: 672 schools [482 (71.7%) government and 190 (28.3%) private] were identified in the study regions. School uniform data were obtained for 667 (99.3%) of these schools. 604 (90.6%) schools were urban and 63 (9.4%) were regional. Overall, mean BSA by boys’ uniforms (62.15% ±0.96) was greater than girls’ (62.03% ±0.84), p<0.005. Mean BSA covered by private school uniforms (62.40% ± 1.30) was higher than public schools (61.97% ± 0.49), p<0.005; a medium effect (d=0.55). Similarly, mean BSA covered by uniforms was higher in private schools when stratified by gender.

Conclusions: Our data suggest that Queensland public summer primary school uniforms cover less BSA than private school uniforms (both genders).Alterations, such as lengthening hems can be made with little or no cost, thus making it affordable for all schools.

Item ID: 45972
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
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Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2016 01:58
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111706 Epidemiology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920412 Preventive Medicine @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920102 Cancer and Related Disorders @ 50%
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