An update to the recommended core content for sun safety messages for public education in Canada: A consensus report

Loraine D. Marrett, Maria B.H. Chu, John Atkinson, Robert Nuttall, Gillian Bromfield, Larry Hershfield, Cheryl F. Rosen


Reducing ultraviolet radiation exposure decreases the risk of skin cancer and eye damage. Between 1996 and 2006, Canadians increased their time in the sun without improving protection. National consensus on sun protection information for the public was last achieved in 1994. Public messages have since been modified inconsistently. The Ontario Sun Safety Working Group initiated a review of messages and engaged a scientific panel to draft message content. Working Group members then delivered a national consensus process, engaging a National Steering Committee, a health communications expert and representatives from 28 organizations through a workshop with pre- and post-workshop surveys. The result of the consensus process is the updated Recommended Core Content for Sun Safety Messages in Canada. Four groups of statements comprise the new content: Key Facts, Primary Recommended Protective Action Statements, Additional Recommended Protective Action Statements, and Tips for Implementing the Primary Protective Actions. Organizations are encouraged to adopt, at minimum, the Primary Recommended Protective Action Statements as the basis for public messaging. The recommended core content establishes a common understanding of what is needed for effective sun protection. The underlying expectation is that, as a key next step, content will be tailored for different subpopulations and health promotion campaigns.


Ultraviolet rays/adverse effects; skin neoplasms/prevention and control; eye diseases/prevention and control; consensus; health education; Canada

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