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School sun safety

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Meet our 2013 School Sun Hat Contest Winners

Each year, Coolibar provides hats to five lucky classrooms across the US as part of our initiative to promote sun safety in schools. Our winners this year include a school nurse, a preschool teacher and lots of lucky students.

Let’s meet our 2013 winners…

 

 

Dawn from Monte Vista Elementary – Las Cruces, NM

Monte Vista Elementary – Las Cruces, New Mexico

Being a school nurse, Dawn knows the importance of sun safety. Monte Vista is located in an extremely hot part of New Mexico and the playground has very little shade. After winning the contest, Dawn was able to distribute hats to the entire kindergarten class to kick off the new school year, and her sun safety program. She teaches classes on sun safety and reminds her students to wear sunscreen and a hat. Dawn loved the hats so much, she purchased more through the Coolibar School Sun Hat Program. Monte Vista students will definitely be protected this year. Way to go!

Kerri from Bramlett Elementary – Oxford, MS

Bramlett Elementary – Oxford, Mississippi

Kerri is a preschool teacher at Bramlett Elementary and knows it’s important for students to practice sun safety at recess, so she entered the contest. Her personal concern about sun exposure has escalated over the years, as she lost her friend to melanoma at the age of 30. In addition, her sister-in-law in Australia shared that kids there aren’t allowed to play outside at recess unless they wear a hat. Kerri hopes this becomes a trend in the US. Her class now wears their hat every day!

Dylan from Ogden Elementary – Wilmington, NC

Ogden Elementary – Wilmington, North Carolina

Dylan entered hoping he’d win for his 4th grade class. He grew up learning about sun safety; his mom is a naturopathic physician specializing in children’s health. Dylan lives in a beach community and is always outdoors, so sun protective clothing and hats are a natural (chemical free) way to protect him from the sun (and it keeps his mom happy)! Dylan handed the hats out during the school’s end-of-year class party.

 

Kaili from La Esparanza CDC – Albuquerque, NM

Kaili entered the contest because her school recently moved to a new location where there are not enough shade structures for the kids while playing at recess. Less than 1 percent of the class brings a sun hat to school, so winning Coolibar hats was very exciting! Kaili handed out the hats to her preschool class, and also provided them a lesson on sun protection.

Allison & Ethan from Fort Belvoir Elementary – Fort Belvoir, VA

The policy at Allison and Ethan’s school doesn’t allow teachers to apply sun block to students. But everyone can wear sun hats, so the brother and sister duo entered for their class. Many students at Fort Belvoir Elementary have families in the Air Force, so while sun protection is on their minds, family budgets are tight. The students are outside at recess every day, not protected from the sun. Allison & Ethan hope the hats will raise awareness among the kids and they will share with their parents. They handed the hats out at field day, when it gets really hot.

Congratulations to all of our 2013 School Sun Hat Contest winners!

Want to win hats for YOUR class? Our 2014 School Sun Hat Contest form is now available!  Enter here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/3L56M7Q

 

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School sun safety SunAWARE

A Lesson in Back-to-School Sun Protection

While the teacher doesn’t typically require sun protection, it’s a back-to-school item parents should strongly consider. Not all schools allow hats or sunscreen, and we hope schools change their policies in the near future. All the same, we have suggestions to ensure your child is sun safe.

1. Before leaving the house, help your child apply broad-spectrum sunscreen. Then teach them how to properly reapply sunscreen before recess. A parent or doctor note may be necessary for your child to do this depending on your school’s policy. If required, discuss sunscreen use with your child’s teacher directly. When choosing a sunscreen, look for active ingredients that block both UVA and UVB rays, such and zinc oxide or titanium dioxide and a rating of SPF 30+. Sunscreen should be used every day – including cloudy days.

2. Instruct your child to play in shaded areas during recess if possible, especially days the UV index is high. Ultraviolet radiation is most intense between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when recess is in session. Approximately 50 percent of the daily UV exposure is received during the four hours around noon.

3. Dress your child in sun protective clothing when possible. UPF 50+ clothing provides excellent sun protection that doesn’t wash or wear off. Wearing tightly woven loose fitting clothing can also shade skin from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays.

4. If your school allows, send your child to school with a wide-brimmed hat or legionnaire hat that covers neck and ears. A hat with at least a 3-inch brim all the way around is best. Baseball caps do not protect the back of the neck or the ears. If you wish all students could wear hats during recess, check out our Coolibar School Sun Hat Program. We provide half off children’s hats for schools!

5. Have your child wear sunglasses that block 99-100% of UV rays or that are rated UV 400. Wearing UV sunglasses protects eyes from cataracts, retinal damage, macular degeneration and eyelid cancer.

Learn more about Coolibar’s school programs and special discounts.

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School sun safety

Meet lucky school sun hat contest winner Kerri

Each year, Coolibar provides hats to five lucky classrooms across the U.S. One of our 2013 contest winners shares her story:  Kerri Case is a preschool teacher at Bramlett Elementary in Oxford, Mississippi. Hats will now be worn every day during recess to remind students to practice sun safety.

“I heard about the school hat contest from a parent of one of my students,” said Ms. Case. “She orders from your website and is very proactive in taking care of her skin.”

Ms. Case’s personal concern of sun exposure has also escalated over the years. “I had a friend who’s sister lost her battle with melanoma at the age of 30.  She was the first young person that I had known with this disease.” Since then, her and her husband had another friend deal with the same battle.

“It was an eye opening experience for us,” said Ms. Case. “I take measures to apply sunscreen when I will be in the sun — especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.  We both see  a dermatologist yearly to have a complete skin scan and see if there are any spots that would cause him concern. My sister-in-law lives in Australia, and she mentioned that at her son’s school kids are not allowed out to play unless they have a hat or visor to protect them from the sun. Great idea!”

Ms. Case and the principal at Bramlett Elementary were thrilled to learn they had won the contest! The hats will be worn during recess to remind the kids to practice sun safety. Ms. Case said, “I know they will be well used in the hot, sunny Mississippi weather that we have here in Oxford!”

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Educate Others Parenting School sun safety

Adding sun safety into the school curriculum

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

Learn about Coolibar’s School Sun Hat Discount Program.

 

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Events Parenting School sun safety SunAWARE

Win Sun Protective Hats for Your School

Coolibar’s school sun hat contest is now open for entries! If you have a child in school or are a teacher, enter to win up to 50 kids hats for your classroom! We’ll be drawing the names of five lucky winners. Enter online and complete the SunAWARE quiz (ANSWERS BELOW) along with your contact information.

Mail your completed entry to Coolibar before May 9, 2014 and you’re registered:

Coolibar School Hats
2401 Edgewood Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55426

GOOD LUCK!

Contest Guidelines:

To enter, you must be a teacher or student at a public school, accredited private school, member of a 501(c)(3) educational organization, or a member of a recognized support group (e.g. PTA) for any of the preceding organizations. Contest open to residents of the 50 United States and District of Columbia. Contest entries for 2014 must by post marked or submitted by May 9, 2014 to be eligible for the contest drawing. Winners will be announced on May 14, 2014. Each winner will receive 50 hats maximum for their class. 5 winners will be chosen at random. No purchase necessary to win. Prize is non-transferable, not returnable and cannot be sold or redeemed for cash. Mechanically reproduced entries will not be accepted. One entry per person.Contest rules subject to change at the sole discretion of Coolibar.

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Parenting School sun safety SunAWARE

What You Need to Know About Sun Protection at Your Child’s School

While the teacher doesn’t typically require sun protection, it’s a back-to-school item parents should strongly consider. Not all schools allow hats or sunscreen, and we hope schools change their policies in the near future. All the same, we have suggestions to ensure your child is sun safe.

1. Before leaving the house, help your child apply broad-spectrum sunscreen. Then teach them how to properly reapply sunscreen before recess. A parent or doctor note may be necessary for your child to do this depending on your school’s policy. If required, discuss sunscreen use with your child’s teacher directly. When choosing a sunscreen, look for active ingredients that block both UVA and UVB rays, such and zinc oxide or titanium dioxide and a rating of SPF 30+. Sunscreen should be used every day – including cloudy days.

2. Instruct your child to play in shaded areas during recess if possible, especially days the UV index is high. Ultraviolet radiation is most intense between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when recess is in session. Approximately 50 percent of the daily UV exposure is received during the four hours around noon.

3. Dress your child in sun protective clothing when possible. UPF 50+ clothing provides excellent sun protection that doesn’t wash or wear off. Wearing tightly woven loose fitting clothing can also shade skin from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays.

4. If your school allows, send your child to school with a wide-brimmed hat or legionnaire hat that covers neck and ears. A hat with at least a 3-inch brim all the way around is best. Baseball caps do not protect the back of the neck or the ears. If you wish all students could wear hats during recess, check out our Coolibar School Sun Hat Program. We provide half off children’s hats for schools!

5. Have your child wear sunglasses that block 99-100% of UV rays or that are rated UV 400. Wearing UV sunglasses protects eyes from cataracts, retinal damage, macular degeneration and eyelid cancer.

“80 percent of the sun’s damage occurs before age 18,” says John Barrow, founder and president of Coolibar. “Children need to be educated about sun safety practices early to avoid the risks of melanoma later.”

Now you know how to teach your child to be SunAWARE at school!

Long Memorial Middle School Saddle Brook NJ
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Educate Others Parenting School sun safety

School policy in 49 states leaves children at risk of sunburn

Mother Jesse Michener of Tacoma, WA walked into her home after work on June 19th to find her two daughters had both severely sunburned that day while at school.

Michener’s daughters Violet, 11, and Zoe, 9, had spent the day outdoors for a school field day. While it rained in the morning, by noon the sun was out and students rushed outside to play. Being under the mid-day sun, when the sun is strongest, the girls began to burn.

Horrified, Michener immediately marched into the principal’s office only to learn that the school cannot allow sunscreen use on students due to a statewide policy and for liability reasons. The same policy exists in 49 states –preventing most students from applying sunscreen at school. The law exists due to the additives in lotions and sunscreens that can potentially cause allergic reactions and sunscreens are regulated by the FDA as an over-the-counter drug. Exception is only granted with a written physician’s note. At the moment, California is the only state that allows students to apply sunscreen at school without doctor approval.

Michener’s daughter Zoe is extremely sensitive to sun due to a form of albinism. Even though school staff were aware of Zoe’s condition, she still was not allowed to use sunscreen.

Michener, outraged by this policy, wrote a post on her photography blog expressing her concern and placing her girl’s sunburn photos at the top (pictured above). Michener writes, “The practice of a blanket policy which clearly allows for students to be put in harm’s way is deeply flawed. Not only does a parent have to take an unrealistic step by visiting a doctor for a ‘prescription’ for an over-the-counter product, children are not allowed to carry it on their person and apply as needed… Something as simple as a sun hat might seem to bypass the prescription issue to some extent. Alas, hats are not allowed at school, even on field day!”

Since Michener posted, this policy has received attention from media outlets across the nation, including the Today Show on NBC. Schools also have started discussing the current sunscreen/over-the-counter drug policy, and begun pushing revisions.

What would you have done? Share your thoughts about sunscreen use in schools on our Facebook page!

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School sun safety SunAWARE

Gearing Up for Skin Cancer Awareness Month

May has been declared Skin Cancer Awareness Month by the Centers for Disease Control. Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon according to the American Cancer Society. Take advantage of the wealth of skin cancer prevention resources available next month so you can become SunAWARE and help prevent and detect skin cancers.

1. Start out May with a free skin cancer screening.

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) designates the first Monday in May as Melanoma Monday (5/7/2012). Dermatology offices often provide free skin cancer screenings. Find a free skin cancer screening on the AAD website or by calling your local dermatology office.

Additionally, this year, the AAD will launch their SPOT Skin Cancer™ public education initiative on Melanoma Monday. The initiative aims to educate the public about skin cancer and promote positive behavior to prevent and detect skin cancer. SPOT Skin Cancer™ also will position dermatologists as the experts in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer.

2. Walk or run to support skin cancer research.

Register to walk or run and raise money in support of skin cancer research through the Melanoma Research Foundation. Search for an event in your area, or create your own Miles for Melanoma event. Miles for Melanoma events take place across the United States and are hosted by volunteers.

3. Register to win school sun hats from Coolibar.

Coolibar is giving away up to 50 school sun hats to five winning classrooms across the United States. Download the contest form or enter online. Contest deadline is May 11, 2012.

4. Kick off your summer with Don’t Fry Day.

The Friday before Memorial Day (5/25/2012) is deemed Don’t Fry Day by The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention. The purpose is to remind everyone to protect your skin while enjoying the outdoors.

5. Pledge to follow these simple steps of SunAWARE to prevent and detect skin cancers all summer.

Avoid unprotected exposure to sunlight, seek shade, and never indoor tan.

Wear sun protective clothing, including a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses year-round.

Apply recommended amounts of broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sunburn protection factor (SPF) greater than or equal to 30 to all exposed skin and reapply every two hours, or as needed.

Routinely examine your whole body for changes in your skin and report concerns to a parent or healthcare provider.

Educate your family and community about the need to be SunAWARE.

If you have any ideas, suggestions or events on skin cancer prevention, please share them with us.

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Parenting School sun safety SunAWARE

Elementary Schools Consider No Hat No Play Policy

Does your child wear a hat on the playground during recess? If not, your child is not the only one. Many elementary schools in the U.S. ban students from wearing hats on school grounds. As a result, children are left exposed to the sun during peak ultraviolet radiation hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

In Australia, schools and daycares have a strict “no hat, no play” policy, meaning children cannot go outside to play unless they’ve slapped on a hat (a wide brim or legionnaire hat). Evidence suggests that childhood exposure to UV radiation from the sun or tanning beds contributes significantly to the development of skin cancer.  As a result of the rise in skin cancer rates, in 1998 the Cancer Council Australia launched the national SunSmart Schools program to promote good sun protection habits in childhood.

The Slip Slop Slap Seek and Slide campaign in Australia started by the Cancer Council Australia in 1980, originally just Slip Slop Slap until 2007, is the core message of the SunSmart Program. Slip on a t-shirt, slop on some sunscreen, slap on a hat, seek shade and slide on sunglasses is the message they remind children and parents of through public service announcements played on television and in classrooms. The hats children wear are also not ordinary baseball caps as they offer very little protection, but rather wide brim hats or legionnaire hats. The SunSmart program now has over 2,500 schools and 3,500 childcare centers participating across the country. This campaign is widely credited as playing a key role in the dramatic shift in sun protection attitudes and behavior over the past two decades in Australia.

Australian SunSmart Schools and Day Cares have a written sun protection policy meeting minimum standards relating to curriculum, behavior and the environment. They also work to increase shade and reschedule outdoor activities to lower UV times of the day. Finally, they teach children about sun protection. These are all simple standards American schools can replicate.

Hats can be provided inexpensively to schools through fundraising or discount programs such as the Coolibar School Sun Hat Program, which offers a 50% discount to schools purchasing children’s hats. As an educational resource, the SunAWARE acronym is available in the U.S. to help educate children about sun protection and skin cancer prevention, in addition to books such as “SunAWARE Hits a Home Run”. Our kids are outdoors when UV is strongest, and while the damage may not appear initially, there is much greater chance severe skin damage will emerge down the road.

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School sun safety Wellness Warriors

Mission Possible: Protecting Kids from the Sun

Sun protection is a passionate subject for many people who have been impacted by cancer. Ellery, a high school freshman and Girl Scout, has been involved in fundraisers for treatments and cures of cancers. For the past year, Ellery has been working hard to earn her Girl Scout Silver Award, the second highest award a Girl Scout can earn, which gives girls the chance to show their dedication to improving the community. Now, Ellery has made it her mission to help educate young students and school officials about sun protection and show them that it’s possible to effectively, and inexpensively, protect students from the sun’s harmful UV rays during outdoor recess and activities.

From Ellery:

When I was starting to think about my Girl Scout Silver Award project, I decided to do something to focus on prevention of disease such as cancer. Living in sunny California, and because I am a swimmer and in the sun a lot, I decided to focus on sun-safety awareness. In my research, I learned that sun exposure related cancers can sometimes be prevented with good sun protection beginning at a young age. The Environmental Protection Agency says that unprotected exposure to ultraviolet light, a known human carcinogen, is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer. Of course, there are risk factors which cannot be controlled, and some people will get skin cancer regardless. I wanted my project to focus on prevention and be different from fund raising programs that I had been involved in. Through my research on sun-safety, I learned that in much of Australia, school kids are required to wear sun-hats as part of their school uniform. I thought this was a really smart idea, because it teaches kids to be aware of the sun’s effects at an early age, and it helps them with the one aspect of skin cancer we can control – sun exposure.

Students Wearing Their Coolibar Sun Hats

I developed a test case, called “Hats for Mates”, to see if it’s feasible for the kids here in Folsom to wear sun hats at recess. Fortunately, the principal at Folsom Hills Elementary School agreed to let me do my project at Folsom Hills. With private donations and affordable sun protective hats from the Coolibar School Sun Hat Program, Mrs. Hardy’s and Mr. Garcia’s kindergarten class received sun hats for their 32 students to use for the test. On the first day I presented a poster board with different sun safety activities to the kids and made a sun safety speech to the kindergarten class. After the presentation, I gave the kids their own sun hats to wear for all of following week. The student’s families were very supportive, and the only concern they raised was regarding sharing hats and lice. I addressed this by having one hat per student, with their name on it and having each student store their hat in their cubbies.

School staff were curious to find out if the hats would be a distraction on the playground. I went back to the school the following week to check up on the class. I asked them questions about the week, such as who wore the hats on the first day, who liked to wear them and why. Only three out of thirty-two kids did not like wearing the hats. The yard duty staff said there were no problems and the kids controlled the hats. The staff in the office also said there were no complaints or negative comments from the kid’s parents or other staff members. The school principal said “Ellery’s project shows that a sun-hat program in our schools is feasible and makes sense in a sunny climate like ours”. The Hats for Mates week at Folsom Hills was a success and showed that a hat program could work in public schools in Folsom.

-Ellery

Learn more about the Coolibar School Sun Hat Program

Ellery Teaching Kindergarten Class About Sun Protection
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