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 the RDK Sun Safety program to the 6th grade science classes at Independence Middle School.
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Research shows that overexposure to UV during childhood greatly increase the chances of developing skin cancer later in life, and many believe that policymakers should take responsibility for keeping kids safe. California stepped up and became the first state in the nation to ban the use of indoor tanning beds for all minors under 18 on January 1, 2012, followed by Vermont on July 1, 2012 – both monumental dates in the anti-tanning movement.
A reminder for all, especially the cold weather states: Vitamin D is essential for healthy living. UVB (not UVA) exposure from the sun causes the body to produce vitamin D; however, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends getting adequate Vitamin D through alternative safe methods.
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. 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.
Memorial Weekend traditionally marks the unofficial opening to sunburn season and the Friday before has been officially declared Don’t Fry Day. It’s a preemptive strike to put sun damage front and center in your mind. The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention wants you to be sun protected; they want you to practice sun safe behavior, teach it, talk about it, and make it as American as apple pie. Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Cynthia Bailey tells you how to avoid sunburn and make the most of your Memorial Day Weekend.
Consumer, beware of misleading sunscreen labels in your local drug stores this summer. Last Friday (May 11, 2012) the Food and Drug Administration announced it will no longer force sunscreen manufactures to change their labels to better inform consumers by June 18, 2012. Manufactures now have until December 2012, a six month extension, and smaller manufactures will have as long as December 2013.
The need to limit sun exposure is not always at top-of-mind when someone is going through cancer treatment, so both health care providers and patients need to become SunAWARE. Coolibar wishes to help oncology nurses recognize this.
“Tanning is beneficial to your health,” claims tanning salon owners and employees when the House Committee on Energy and Commerce undercover investigators called 300 tanning salons nationwide. This false claim may not fool many sun protection advocates, but the rest of the U.S. population could be easily led to believe that tanning is good for you.
While you may already have a personal goal in mind to accomplish in 2012, have you thought about creating a New Year’s Resolution that can have a profound impact on others as well? You, just one person, can help lower the rate people are being diagnosed with melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, and save lives. This year, consider giving back by getting involved in a race for the cure, fundraise for melanoma research, or hold an event to help educate others about skin cancer and prevention. Our friends at Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) have some suggestions to help you get started.