Skin cancer is a preventable pediatric disease if sun protective habits start at an early age. Children spend more time outside than adults. As a result, most sun damage occurs before age 18. Chicago based Pediatric Sun Protection Foundation (PSPF) is educating children and families on the importance of sun protection – to end skin cancer one child at a time.
“My children are in day camp all summer, and I wanted them to wear swim shirts daily,” said Founder of PSPF and Board Certified Dermatologist Amy Brodsky, M.D. “I thought if we could start a trend and have all campers wear them, my kids would not complain that they were the only ones,” she said of where the initial idea for the organization stemmed from.
Through PSPF, Dr. Brodsky shows other parents having your kid wear sun protective clothing is important for lifelong healthy skin. “You wouldn’t send your children out on a bicycle without a bike helmet, so why would you send them to camp and the swimming pool without a swim shirt,” said Dr. Brodsky.
Formed January 2012, PSPF has since created programs to promote sun protection awareness. PSPF’s website allows parents and children to adopt the practice of wearing sun protective clothing by providing information and accessibility to affordable sun protective products through partner vendors. A PSA campaign to promote the organization’s mission is also in the works. “The next steps are to partner with clothing distributors and recruit a celebrity to create commercial and PSAs,” said Dr. Brodsky. “I also plan to talk via TV, radio and schools about our cause. Our key message to parents is that skin cancer is a pediatric disease; and if sun protective habits start early, skin cancer can be prevented.”
June 2, 2013, PSPF will be at the Chicago Cubs game promoting Play Sun Smart with Major League Baseball and the American Academy of Dermatology. For more information about the Pediatric Sun Protection Foundation and upcoming events visit http://www.pediatricspf.org/.