Did you know one or more blistering sunburns before the age of 18 more than doubles your chances of getting melanoma? To promote sun safety, Lisa Richman, executive director of the Richard David Kann (RDK) Melanoma Foundation, presented this statistic as a part of their Sun Safety program to the 6th grade science classes at Independence Middle School.
RDK Melanoma Foundation was founded in honor of Richard David Kann. Kann was 44-years-old when he discovered a funny spot on his back. Like most people, he ignored it. By the time he found his way in to a dermatologist’s office, he realized he was fighting for his life. Sadly, he lost his battle with melanoma in only nine short months. Family and friends banded together knowing they must do something, so other families would not suffer the loss of a loved one from a disease that can be prevented with education.
The Sun Safety program at Independence Middle School was a huge success. “Students were well-behaved, bright and responsive. They knew their science regarding skin and UV Rays, and had already heard words like ‘dermatologist’ and some ‘melanoma’,” said Lisa Richman. After listening to an interactive presentation and viewing the YouTube video entitled “Dear 16 Year Old Me”, students were reluctant to look into the Dermaview machine (pictured to left) Lisa brought now knowing the freckles on their face were not “kisses from angels” but sun damage!
The students, eager to share their newfound knowledge with the rest of their school, even wrote a poem to read during daily announcements.
When going out on a sunny day,
Stay away from hot sun rays.
Cover your head with a wide brim hat,
Protect your eyes like a cool cat.
Putting balm on your lips goes a long way,
To keep them safe from ultra violet rays.
If you must go out between 10 and 4,
Don’t forget your umbrella when out the door.
This may be a lot to keep in your head,
But one last thing NO Tanning beds!
Sun smart rules keep you safe in the sun,
You can enjoy in the summer and have lots of fun!
The Richard David Kann Melanoma Foundation is a non-profit organization involved in skin cancer education – enlightening the community through SunSmart America™ K-12 Curriculum, which provides school-based learning on sun safety and skin cancer. SunSmart America™ meets existing requirements in science, health, physical education and language arts.
Considering a similar program for your school this year? Learn more about school sun safety programs at www.melanomafoundation.com