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Celebrate 10 Years with Cancer Control P.L.A.N.E.T.

Preventing Skin Cancer: Child Care Center-Based Interventions

Task Force Finding

The Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends child care center-based skin cancer prevention interventions that include implementation of sun protection policies along with education of staff and parents. This recommendation is based on sufficient evidence that these interventions increase children’s protection from excessive UV exposure.

Read the full Task Force Finding and Rationale Statement for details including implementation issues, possible added benefits, potential harms, and evidence gaps.

Intervention Definition

Child care center-based interventions to promote sun-protective behaviors include educational interventions, supportive behavioral interventions, and environmental and policy changes in daycare or preschool settings. Educational and behavioral interventions generally provide information about sun safety and the effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and may be directed to children, their caregivers (e.g., staff, parents), or both. Messages delivered in lectures or through small media can be reinforced by modeling or role-playing. Sun-protective environmental and policy changes include increasing the availability of sun-protective items (e.g., sunscreen or protective clothing), adding sun-protective features to the physical environment (e.g., shade structures), and implementing sun-protection policies (e.g., clothing guidelines, restrictions on outdoor activities during peak sunlight hours).

About the Systematic Review

The Task Force finding presented on this page was made in May 2013. It is based on evidence from a Community Guide systematic review published in 2004 (Saraiya et al., 1 study on behavioral outcomes; search period January 1966 – June 2000) combined with more recent evidence (6 studies, search period June 2000 – May 2011). It updates and replaces a previous Task Force finding on Education and Policy Approaches in Child Care Centers .

This review was conducted on behalf of the Task Force by a team of specialists in systematic review methods, and in research, practice and policy related to preventing skin cancer. Subscribe External Web Site Icon to be notified as new materials on this topic become available.

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Publication Status

Full peer-reviewed articles of this systematic review will be posted on the Community Guide website when published. Subscribe External Web Site Icon to be notified when we post these publications or other materials. See our library for previous Community Guide publications on this and other topics.


Saraiya M, Glanz K, Briss P A, Nichols P, White C, Das D, et al. Interventions to prevent skin cancer by reducing exposure to ultraviolet radiation: a systematic review Adobe PDF File [PDF - 782 kB]. Am J Prev Med 2004;27(5):422-66.


The findings and conclusions on this page are those of the Community Preventive Services Task Force and do not necessarily represent those of CDC. Task Force evidence-based recommendations are not mandates for compliance or spending. Instead, they provide information and options for decision makers and stakeholders to consider when determining which programs, services, and policies best meet the needs, preferences, available resources, and constraints of their constituents.

Sample Citation

The content of publications of the Guide to Community Preventive Services is in the public domain. Citation as to source, however, is appreciated. Sample citation: Guide to Community Preventive Services. Preventing skin cancer: child care center-based interventions (abbreviated). www.thecommunityguide.org/cancer/skin/education-policy/childcarecenters.html. Last updated: MM/DD/YYYY.

Review completed: May 2013