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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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Inside Coolibar New Products What's Hot

Wide Leg Pant Review

Did you know Coolibar employees are some of our best customers?  After receiving our shipment of new Wide Leg Pants for women, a number of the Coolibar ladies immediately snatched them up. Now, Coolibar employees Heather, Jennifer and Julie share their thoughts on these comfy UPF 50+ pants. They also share some pictures showing how they style the pant.

 Coolibar Wide Leg Pant

– Smooth fold knit waistband
– No-squeeze top keeps pant comfortably in place
– Wide leg (12″ opening on bottom)
– Lightweight and breathable
– Drapes effortlessly
– Silky soft aire SUNTECT® polyester/spandex blend
– Rated UPF 50+

Jennifer wearing Wide Leg Pant - Beach Style

“I love my Coolibar Wide Leg Pants! I was in New York last April and searched the city over for a pair of brightly colored wide leg pants just like this, with no luck. I found a few but they didn’t fit right, the color was wrong or they were way too expensive. Lucky for me, I found them right here at Coolibar. I love these pants because the fold top waistband is flattering, they are amazingly comfortable, they’re silky-smooth and are extremely light weight. They have easily become my go to pants that I put on after work or for a Saturday afternoon in the city.” – Jennifer

Heather wearing Wide Leg Pant - Beach Style

“I love the new Coolibar wide leg pant, because it can be dressed up or down. Yesterday I wore them lounging in the humid MN weather and the pants kept me cool. The fabric is amazing and very soft! Pictured is my beach look. When I go to the beach I like to be covered up with layers that can be taken off when I go swimming. Thanks to these pants, I don’t have to apply sunscreen every time I get out of the water.” – Heather

Julie wearing Wide Leg Pant - City Style

“The wide leg pants are so comfortable! I love the lightweight silky material and the yoga inspired fold waist. I pair my pants with a lightweight tank top for a day time look, and throw over a jacket for going out at night. This is my go-to pant for the summer!” – Julie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Try this pant on yourself: Wide Leg Pant on Coolibar.com

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Events

Celebrate Summer Solstice

Summer solstice, the day with the longest amount of sunlight this year is Wednesday, June 20. Summer solstice is significant for scientists and religions alike, it’s a day tied to solar phenomena and community celebrations.

Carolyn Sumners, vice president of astronomy and the physical sciences at the Houston Museum of Natural Science provides a scientific explanation of summer solstice on Chron.com. “The earth is always tilted on its axis at 23½ degrees,” says Sumners. It orbits around the sun in that position – and in the Northern Hemisphere, when that tilt leans most toward the sun it’s the summer solstice.

The historical significance of summer solstice goes far back. Ancient Egyptians would wait for the Nile’s flooding season beginning summer solstice, for the floods provided fertile soil for farming. The Incas began the tradition of Inti Raymi, the multiday Festival of the Sun, which is still celebrated by tourists and natives of South America every year on June 24 (around the time of summer solstice). Even the Olympic Games in Greece were specifically scheduled to commence once summer solstice ended.

Today, summer solstice is still celebrated around the world. In the UK, thousands gather at Stonehenge to witness the solstice sunrise –the moment when the sun completely aligns with the outer Heel Stone.

Stonehenge 2010 Summer Solstice Sunrise

In the United States, a simple Google search of “summer solstice festival (state name)” will show a list of cities and towns celebrating this day with parades, festivals, music, games and athletic events.

Solstice Parade 2011 - Santa Barbara, CA

To all of us at Coolibar, it’s a day to remind others about healthy sunny living. We, like most, love to be outdoors, and summer solstice is a day to celebrate. While the sun is extra strong, for an extra long time, remember to be SunAWARE, and keep your UPF 50 clothing, hat, sunglasses and sunscreen on hand.

Being SunAWARE at the beach in Coolibar

Celebrate summer with a family barbecue, a trip to the beach or a long bike ride.

How do you to take advantage of the longest, most sun filled day of the year?   Let us know what summer means to you on Facebook or by commenting below!

Photo credits:

Stonehenge: Vintagedept

Parade: Damian Gadal

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Success Stories Wellness Warriors

Unborn Daughter Saves Mother From Melanoma

Have you heard of a mom’s unborn child saving her life? Erica’s daughter Caroline did just that (both pictured to left). Read Erica’s story and how her daughter may just have saved her from Melanoma.

My name is Erica. I am a daughter, granddaughter, wife and mother.  Although having my child at the age of 22 was not in my immediate plans, I often say that if it wasn’t for my strong-willed, red-headed little girl I may not have been here to make plans.  I am a firm believer in everything happening for a reason and am at complete peace with the bumpy ride I am still on regarding my skin.  This is a short version of my journey with melanoma thus far. 

Two months after my 22nd birthday I had a six month OBGYN appointment.  I always saw a midwife but on this particular day I saw the actual OB and I was wearing shorts, something I rarely did while I was pregnant.  He took one look at a spot on my thigh and suggested I see my primary care doctor immediately to have it checked out.  This mole had been on my leg for about two years and although it was ugly it was just one of those things I kept putting off getting checked.  It was not important to me, after all what could it have been?  Just an ugly, unattractive spot I could get taken off for cosmetic reasons?  My general practitioner believed it to be nothing but still removed it for further testing.  Initially, I was told that it was severely dysplastic and I was sitting on the door step of melanoma.  After further evaluation from the pathologist it was confirmed that I indeed had a .68 mm stage 1 melanoma that showed signs of regression. 

When I got the news that I had melanoma it truly didn’t hit me that this was a very serious condition.  When I got the call from the doctor that I needed to go in that morning I went by myself and was not the slightest bit nervous. I vividly remember the nurse hugging me and telling me that all would be o.k. and I would still be here for my daughter.  It was at that point that I broke down crying in the office, hugging a stranger trying to get a good grip on the fact that I not only had cancer but I had the deadliest form of skin cancer.

After that things started moving very fast.  I was scheduled immediately for a WLE (wide local excision) and a lymph node biopsy because I had some issues with them around the time the mole originally appeared. Being that I was pregnant, the lymph node biopsy had to wait until my little girl was around seven weeks old.  The WLE resulted in clear margins and there was no signs of melanoma in my lymph nodes once they were checked.  All was fine until roughly seven months later when another melanoma was found in my groin region.  Thankfully that one was an in situ which is essentially stage 0 and is not invasive.  Several other biopsies were taken as a precautionary measure which has left me with several keloids scattered around my body.  Since then I have had a nevus with pre-cancerous cells which was taken care of with a WLE.  I am also currently awaiting results on another biopsy. 

One of the biggest questions I get asked about my personal experience with melanoma is how did I get it.  When I was sixteen I began going to the tanning bed. As a teenager and even during my collage years I didn’t do the typical rebellious things such as drinking, partying, etc.  I was a homebody, an honor student, the type of person who chose to go to bed at 9 on a Friday night.  Little did I know, the one activity I was partaking in to make me feel good about myself and boost my self-confidence was the number one thing that could have very easily robbed me of my life. I would tan a couple times a week, use the hottest tanning lotions and tan for about 15-20 minutes at a time.  What I didn’t know is each and every time I would lay in a tanning bed I was engaging in risky behavior that could have been fatal. During my tanning years I heard of melanoma and even saw pictures but I always brushed it off as something that would not happen to me or happen many years down the road when I was “old”.  I have since found out that skin cancer also runs on my paternal side of the family, something I had no idea about at the time.  Unfortunately, ignorance truly is bliss.

In the past two years I have became very educated when it comes to melanoma.  I have read and reread the facts, told anyone and everyone who will listen about my story and have became very vigilant with my skin checks.  I see my dermatologist every three months and we check and reevaluate areas of concern. My little girl will forever be at a higher risk given my history so sunscreen, monitoring her skin and keeping her safe from the sun is of utmost importance to me.  I am also learning to embrace my once tan body that is now a body full of scars, keloids and regularly appearing nevi. If I was to never get another melanoma it would not mean that it is totally over.  It would simply mean that there is NED (no evidence of disease).  Melanoma education, prevention and awareness will forever play a big role in my life!

Erica Adams – Founder of Astheygrowup.com blog

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Inside Coolibar Sun Protection Clothing Wear Sun Protection

The Secret Advantage of Long Sleeves

On a hot, sunny day, long sleeves get a bad wrap. In fact, when it’s hot out, a wearer in long sleeves will endure laughter and ridicule on the golf course and the endless question, “Aren’t you hot in that?” Here’s the good news, if you wear UPF 50+ long sleeves when the rays are pummeling you, you no longer have to contend with those who simply don’t know the secret advantage of long sleeves.

The fact is that when the sun is shining and temperatures rise, UV protected long sleeves keep you safe from sunburn and keep you cooler. Doctors have long recommended wear UV sun protective clothing as a way to prevent sun damage and protect against skin cancer; however what science is now proving that blocking UVA/UVB rays in combination with long sleeves actually keeps us cooler too.

A number of years ago, an inquisitive research team led by C Richard Taylor and Virginia Finch of Harvard University and Amiram Shkolnik and Arieh Borut of Tel Aviv University were puzzled by the ability of the Bedouins of the Sinai to minimize solar heat loads in a hot desert. The study, aptly called Why Do Bedouins Wear Black Robes in Hot Deserts?, measured the people’s overall heat gain and loss in the robes, considering their amount of coverage, long sleeves and the color of their robes.

A volunteer wearing different levels of coverage and different colored clothing was faced into the midday sun in the desert for 30 minutes. Withstanding 95F, the volunteer placed in the Negev desert at the bottom of the rift valley between the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Eitat wore either: 1) a black Bedouin robe; 2) a similar robe that was white; 3) a tan army uniform; or 4) shorts (that is, he was semi‑nude).

The results were surprising, but not surprising. Long sleeves and more clothing kept the wearer cooler. As the report puts it: “The amount of heat gained by a Bedouin exposed to the hot desert is the same whether he wears a black or a white robe. The additional heat absorbed by the black robe was lost before it reached the skin.”

As far as desert temperatures in our everyday world, when it’s hot, our bodies sweat as a natural cooling mechanism. Let’s face it, sweat sitting on skin feels sticky and damp. Then often, the temptation is to “release” heat by removing clothes or wearing short sleeves, leading to damaging sunburn. Comfortable loose fitting UPF 50+ long sleeves in a wicking fabric transfers sweat away from skin so it can dry, and it creates a small air flow between skin and fabric to keep it cool while protecting against sunburn and UV damage.

While long sleeves can actually keep skin dry and cool, when it’s exceedingly hot, long sleeves are not a replacement for drinking liquids. Medical professionals will always recommend wearing a sun hat, UV clothing, taking frequent shade breaks, using a UV umbrella for portable shade and drinking plenty of hydrating fluids.

So, the next time friends question if you’re too hot in your long sleeves, you have your answer. Recommendations are for sleeves that are loose enough for some air flow. Long sleeve styles like UPF 50+ wraps layered over a tank top or accessories like UPF 50+ scarves channel air in, around and flow heat out, like a bellows. As for the color debate, it appears dark is not an issue as far as staying cool in the deserts. Nor, would we suppose, it be an issue around the pool or on the boat either.

 

Source: Strange, but true: science’s most improbable research, The Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2012/aug/19/most-improbable-scientific-research-abrahams

The heat and the hazard: 9 facts about summer health, The Washington Post:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/summer-time-and-the-living-isbuggy-itchy-a-bit-germy-heres-what-to-do/2015/06/29/b8c0a7f8-0487-11e5-8bda-c7b4e9a8f7ac_story.html?utm_term=.a6326c7f6a65

 

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Wellness Warriors

Melanoma Survivor Kari

I am in my tenth year of battling the beast called stage IV metastatic melanoma, and I am still just as determined to win as I have ever been!

I was originally diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic melanoma in April 2003 just as my daughter Emilia turned one. At diagnosis, disease had spread to my lungs, femur and multiple sub cue locations and my prognosis was grave. I completed two and a half years of bio-chemotherapy and surgery at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco and had no evidence of disease in 2004. In recognition of the fifth anniversary of my diagnosis, I spent the first five days of May 2008 walking, with my father (pictured above with me), from Napa to San Francisco (77 miles) to personally thank my physician, Dr. David Minor, and celebrate the gift of life. It was truly the walk of my life!

In May 2009 (the same month as my original diagnosis in 2003), I discovered somewhat ‘by accident’ a lump on my side. It was sudden and unexpected by all, doctors included. A biopsy quickly determined the lump was melanoma, surgery was done with no other cancer found, and I launched into an inpatient IL-2 protocol. Unfortunately, three month progress scans (September 2009) showed a new mass, launching a five month bicoastal diagnostic and potential protocol obstacle course. Our search ended as of March 2010, when after three attempts, I was accepted in the phase II PLX4032 trial at the UCLA. I was an early and complete responder to the drug; however, the side effects were severe and unfortunately the disease returned by the end of the year.

With few options available, I had surgery again in January 2011 to remove a tumor, muscle and nodes in my shoulder and was confident we finally had the upper hand. Despite our determination, melanoma is a crazy beast and it quickly returned. After much discussion and debate regarding quality of life, impact on family, and attempts to forecast the future (ha, ha!), we made the decision for me to start on the newly approved drug “Yervoy” (Ipi) in May 2011.

The response to treatment was positive and we enjoyed a few months “in the clear” only to have the end of the year bring the news that the disease had progressed to my brain. Brain zapping commenced (gamma knife) and was followed with another course of Yervoy. Thankfully my brain is showing signs of improvement (that is shrinking tumors!) but the disease in my body has not been stabilized. 2012 began with a storm of research and investigation on “what next” and it was determined that the immediate course of action called for the surgical removal of a mass in my duodenum. The surgery was a challenging one but I have recovered well. Radiation of seven additional tumors followed in conjunction with another round (third) of treatment with Yervoy (Ipi) that will continue until mid summer. Our fingers are seriously crossed as well.

As always, we remain guided by hope, astounded at the community that continues to surround us, very grateful for the incredible scientific advances that continue to provide us with treatment options and determined to live as full and “normal” of a life as we can.

Kari Worth on Caring Bridge

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Coolibar Athletes

DesPlaines River Canoe & Kayak Marathon + Hat Review

Glenview, IL – The Coolibar Discovery Wide Brim Hat successfully completed the DesPlaines River Canoe & Kayak Marathon this past Sunday, May 20, 2012.  The hat accomplished this feat while riding on the head of Jeremy Van Ek, amateur but fanatical paddler, and was accompanied on the journey by a Coolibar Short Sleeve Fitness Shirt and a generous slathering of All Terrain Aqua Sport sunscreen.  The DesPlaines marathon is a 18.5 mile paddle down the DesPlaines river in the suburbs of Chicago for canoeists and kayakers.  It’s the second longest running paddling race in the US, and typically sees 500-600 boats in the race.

“The conditions of the race this year demanded tough protection,” say’s participant Jeremy Van Ek. ” 90 degree heat with not a cloud in the sky, which is very unusual this time of year for the Chicago area.  Add to that a stiff wind out of the south, which was the predominant direction we were paddling during the race.  I can attest that the double chin strap on the Discovery Hat works very well…the hat was blown off my head twice during the race, but fortunately the chin strap saved it from being lost entirely and kept it hanging around my neck.”

Van Ek also had to say, “The Coolibar gear did well in the race.  This early in the year in Chicago us northerners are still all very white from the winter, so risk of sunburn on an unusually sunny and hot day is high. I didn’t have a trace of pink anywhere, even on my face, after a solid 4 hours in the direct sun, in wet and windy conditions.”

The Coolibar/Van Ek pairing turned in a decent finish for their debut event: 10th out of 28 in the men’s long kayak division, and 51st overall of about 600 boats of all classes.

More race updates and product review from Van Ek to come!

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Educate Others Expert Rx

Don’t Fry Day 2012 is Friday, May 25th

Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Cynthia Bailey tells you how to avoid sunburn and make the most of your Memorial Day Weekend.

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.

You or your loved ones double your risk of getting melanoma (the potentially deadly big C skin cancer) with:

– One severe sunburn in childhood
– 5 or more sunburns as an adult

Yep, really!

From now until mid-October I’ll see sunburned skin in my office, at the grocery store, walking around town, and everywhere I go! You know from experience that it’s so easy to “forget” sun protection or to lose track of time at a graduation, wedding, BBQ, softball game, pulling weeds in the garden, etc. It’s why you need to expect it. You’re going to end up in the sun longer than you think, so you need to always be prepared in advance.

There are 5 simple steps for smart sun protection. Do them every day for yourself and your family:

  1. Apply broad spectrum SPF 30 or higher sunscreen.
  2. Wear sun-protective clothing to cover your skin.
  3. Wear a broad-brimmed had (not visor or ball cap).
  4. Wear UV-blocking sunglasses.
  5. Always be in the shade when you can. (Who are those people sitting in the direct sun at ball games and the beach?)
A sun safe paradise!

You also need to know that it takes extra resolve to sun protect. Culturally, sun bathing and tanning have been associated with a sense of well-being and the good life. It’s even addictive. I know; I was an addicted tanner until the big reality check that came in my dermatology residency in San Diego: cutting off skin cancer after skin cancer on people just like me. (Click here to read my story Tanning Addiction: Dermatologist’s Personal Story.) A lot of people still haven’t gotten “the memo” and justify their “actinic indiscretions” in the name of vitamin D. Sadly, it’s job security for my kind, so don’t do it.

Heavy-hitting organizations have taken up the charge to change Americans’ behavior. Groups like the American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, US EPA, and other federal departments have teamed up to get sun protection front and center on your mind this summer. It starts with Don’t Fry Day and the Memorial Day weekend. See the team that makes up the National Council for Skin Cancer Prevention and No Fry Day. If you’re an educator, sign up for the EPA’s Sunwise program to get educational resources for your classroom and a chance to win a real-time TV monitor and other teaching aids for your class.

You can also find additional educational resources at SunAWARE.org.

Have a happy Don’t Fry Day!

Remember the broadspectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen!

Stock up on sunscreen before Memorial Weekend. Coolibar is offering 15% off all CoTZ sunscreen for a limited time only!

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Athlete Profiles Coolibar Athletes Inside Coolibar

Meet Our 2012 Sponsored Athletes

We heard from more than 100 athletes in our search for the 2012 Coolibar Athlete Team. We then had the difficult task of narrowing down our list to an exceptional group that we hope will inspire others through their actions. Now, we’re proud to introduce our 2012 Coolibar Sponsored Athletes.

John Barker

John began competing in triathlons in 2007 and immediately took a liking to the sport. However, in 2010, he had to put his long term goal of completing an ironman on hold after donating a kidney to save a stranger’s life. Now, two years later, John shares how he’s getting back into training after his life changing experience. Read John’s story >

Molly Baross

Molly is a Master’s synchronized swimmer. Initially, Molly joined her current team, the Unsyncables of La Mirada, to help arthritic conditions and keep in shape. Now, she competes nationally at least once a year. Preparing for the competitions takes lots of practice, endurance and conditioning to be strong enough to hold your breath and do the complicated movements. Currently, Molly is preparing to compete in Riccione, Italy at the Fina World’s Aquatic Championships in June. Read Molly’s story >

Kristie Cranford

As a certified personal trainer, Kristie coaches others on how to be healthy on the inside, as well as the outside. As a melanoma survivor she’s passionate about sun safety, especially since becoming a Mom. Running is her passion, whether it is on a trail or the city streets. Now she’s taking her passion for running, and sun protection, to reach her goals of finishing an ultra marathon, become a USA Track and Field Masters All American, and reach as many people as possible with the message of sun protection. Read Kristie’s story >

Chad Grigsby

Chad is a professional angler on his 10th year as a full-time pro on the FLW Tour, the top level of tournament bass fishing. He holds seven top ten finishes on the Tour and one win. He spends more than 100 days a year on the water during practice and tournament days, sometimes up to 15 hours! Read Chad’s story >

Elena King

Elena is a Class A Member of the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional Division and a graduate of the University of Iowa where she was captain of the golf team for three years. She is an accomplished player with many individual titles both as an amateur and a professional. Now, blending her experience playing and coaching golf, she’s Director of Instruction through her company, Experience Golf, offering a comprehensive approach to the game including overall performance and player development. Read Elena’s story >

Marion Lepert

Marion is passionate about windsurfing and racing, traveling across the world to compete. What’s more is that she is doing this at age 16! After training hard, learning from top sailors, and finishing in the top five in three world championships in 2011, her new goal is to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games. Read Marion’s story >

Tania Prymak

Skiing is a large part of Tania’s life. After traveling to a ski resort in Oregon where elite US ski cross athletes were training, she knew it was something she had to do. Even though she has only two seasons of ski cross racing under her belt, she’s titled 2011 USASA Woman’s National Ski cross champion and the USSA Revolution Tour Champion. Tania’s serious about training, despite her setback of having kidney disease, and hopes to qualify for an Olympic spot in the future. Read Tania’s story >

Sara Snyder

Sara is an avid nature photographer, outdoor explorer and long distance hiker. At this very moment, she is on a 2,663 mile trek from Mexico to Canada via the Pacific Crest Trail. She’ll be living outdoors from April to October 2012, in face of all of mother nature’s elements. Read Sara’s story >

Peter Urban

Peter is a tennis guru, having played competitively for almost 30 years. He’s a USTA and CMITA league playing with a 4.5 ranking. He also enjoys staying active outdoors with surfing, skiing and running. In 2011, Peter discovered skin cancer on his back, but he hasn’t let that stop his passions, including finding the time to write a book on tennis! Read Peter’s story >

Jeremy Van Ek

Jeremy—finance professional by day, proud father by night and weekend and adventure racer in any spare time he gets. Adventure racing is an outdoors multisport team competition. Disciplines usually include trail running, mountain biking, paddling and special challenges. Races also range in length anywhere from four hours to 10 days! Read Jeremy’s story >

Coolibar Athletes will share their stories with us throughout their season, so check The Coolibar Blog frequently for updates!

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