Archives

Inside Coolibar

Coolibar’s Visit to Camp Discovery

Coolibar had the pleasure of spending a day at the American Academy of Dermatology’s Camp Discovery on June 25. Camp Discovery offers youth with skin conditions the opportunity to spend a week among young people who have similar skin conditions — free of charge.

Camp Knutson in Crosslake, MN  is one of six AAD Camp Discovery locations. Coolibar volunteers passed out sun hats, UPF 50+ swim shirts and UV goggles to the children and counselors in attendance. Coolibar also donated sun protective hats to all Camp Discovery locations, providing sun hats to 350 kids.

Check out our album below from our road trip to Camp Discovery.

[nggallery id=28]

No Comments
Avoid UV & Seek Shade Inside Coolibar New Products Parenting

Is your shade structure shading your kids enough?

As a mom of two active boys I have attended hundreds of sporting events.  For shade and sun protection I bring our portable beach umbrella or canopy.  Over the years, I have noticed that portable umbrellas and canopies only provide minimal sun protection.  Most portable umbrellas and canopies do not block UVA or UVB rays, they provide only a limited shade area (the largest of which is when the sun is directly overhead) and they do not block the UV rays that are reflected off of the ground.

When I researched reflected UV rays, I was shocked to learn that up to 1/3 of cancer causing UV rays can reach your skin while you are sitting in the shade.  One such study in New Zealand concluded that shade structures with side on walls provided the best protection from UV rays.  My frustration with portable shade structures and their inability to provide adequate shade and sun protection lead me to start my company, Solar Eclipz, and to develop the ezShade.

The patented ezShade is the only portable sun-shield that blocks over 99% UVA/UVB rays and instantly attaches to any nylon/poly umbrella or canopy.  Our company’s focus is to educate the public on the harm caused by reflected UV rays and the need for staying sun-safe and I hope that this post too will help you enjoy a sun-safe summer.

With the temperature soaring and the sun shining brighter, chances are you want to keep your little one safe from the sun. While you’d love to keep them indoors all day, you know you really can’t do that. However, what you CAN do is keep them sun safe by choosing products that provide and boost UV protection, easily and effectively.

Here are 5 must-have sun safety products for parents of preschoolers:

1. Sun Hat

Yes, every toddler needs a good sun hat. Luckily for you, Coolibar offers you some great options. Choose a sun hat that shades most of the face and keeps the sun’s rays away from sensitive skin. Also, don’t just get one sun hat. Get a couple. Preschoolers are always losing stuff or getting them dirty.

2. Sunglasses

Sunglasses are not only for adults. You need to keep your preschooler’s eyes safe from the sun’s rays as well. However, don’t just go out and buy any pair of sunglasses. Look around for a brand that’s trusted and certified. Also, take the little one when you go shopping so that you can try on the pair for fit and comfort.

3. UV Protective Clothes

Sun protective clothes can be a life-saver, especially when you’re at the park or the beach. While you can get special sun protective clothes, you should also make sure that regular clothes offer adequate sun protection. Long sleeves, light colors, cotton fiber are some things to look for when choosing outdoor summer wear for the kids.

4. Sunscreen

Never, ever send your toddler out to play without slathering on the sunscreen. Choose a brand that is kid-friendly and child-appropriate. Blue Lizard and UV Natural both have SPF 30+ sunscreens available for kids. Make sure you apply the sunscreen at least 15 to 20 minutes before they go out to play and reapply it, if they go swimming or wash their faces. Also, don’t forget the BEENS or Back of knees, Ears, Eye area, Neck, and Scalp to ensure full coverage.

5. Shade

And finally, make sure that when they play outside or spend time on the beach, they have adequate shade and sun protection. Using a portable shade such as the ezShade will not only increase the protection that an umbrella offers, it will also keep kids sun-safe without blocking out their fun.

Keeping preschoolers safe in the sun does not need a LOT of effort. Just a few must-have products can help summer be fun and safe for your on-the-go, active toddler. So, go ahead and get equipped for the most enjoyable, sun-safe season ever!

About the Author: Linda Varga is the founder of Solar Eclipz and inventor of the ezShade,  www.myezshade.com, an award-winning sun shield that instantly attaches to any umbrella/canopy, blocks over 99% UVA/UVB rays, doubles your shade, and keeps you cooler all day long.

Get your Solar Eclipz ezShade now at Coolibar.  See our full line of UPF 50+ Sun Umbrellas & Shelters.

No Comments
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!

3 Comments
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.

1 Comment
SunAWARE Videos

Does a Tan Make you More Beautiful?

According to a recent survey by the American Academy of Dermatology, the answer is “yes” for many teens and young adults in the United States.  When asked if they think people look more attractive with a tan, a large percentage of respondents (66 percent) answered yes, especially indoor tanners (87 percent).

The survey found that a vast majority (86 percent) of Caucasian teen girls and young women who tan indoors do so for the sake of vanity despite knowing the health risks.  Young Australians, on the contrary, have begun to shift their perceptions on beauty and tanning.

The Aussie tan is officially no longer cool. At least not among the 12-17 year old age group who’ve grown up with the slip, slop, slap message.  New research by the Cancer Council has revealed young Australians are rapidly changing their attitude towards tanning, with fewer than ever seeking the bronzed look.  The council’s national sun protection survey conducted last summer shows the preference for a suntan among 12-17-year-olds has steadily dropped to 45%, proof that a public health campaign can be effective.

Below is the well-known Australian Slip!Slop!Slap! advertisement from the Cancer Council Victoria with Sid the Seagull, launched in the 1980’s. Just say these simple words – slip, slop, slap. Slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat.

 

 

No Comments
Educate Others Events Inside Coolibar

Help Us Give the Gift of Sun Protection Education

Sun protective habits developed in childhood promote a lifetime of healthy skin. Giving a child the gift of sun protection education is as easy as ‘liking’ the Coolibar Sun Protective Clothing Facebook page. For every Coolibar Facebook page ‘like’ (a.k.a. fan) we receive in December, we’ll donate a SunAWARE book to the Children’s Melanoma Prevention Foundation

‘Like’ us now to give a child a SunAWARE children’s book and help support our cause! Just click the ‘like’ button below.

No Comments
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
No Comments
Parenting SunAWARE

Doctor Prescribed Outdoor Activity for Kids

Worried your kids aren’t getting enough fresh air and exercise? You’re not alone. Inactivity in children is an issue many parents and health care providers are concerned with.  According to the Center for Disease Control, in the U.S, approximately 17 percent of all kids (ages 2-19) are obese. Environmental factors are mostly to blame, such as poor eating habits and a lack of physical activity. With an increasing number of electronic devices for kids to glue their eyes to, it’s easier than ever for children to find entertainment that requires little movement. An article in the New York Times recently stated “children ages 8 to 18 spend more than seven and a half hours a day with such devices”. Today, children are eating more and moving less, which puts them at risk of becoming over-weight or obese.  Now is the time to form healthy habits and start moving!

The National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) recognizes the need to get children outdoors and is taking action through their Children and Nature Initiative.  The ultimate goal of the program is to encourage parents, doctors, teachers, and organizations to get kids outside for their own health.  According to NEEF, “Research indicates that unstructured outdoor activities may improve children’s health by increasing physical activity, reducing stress and serving as a support mechanism for attention disorders.”  This program encourages pediatric health care providers to prescribe outdoor activities to children. It also connects medical professionals with local nature sites, so when doctors prescribe outdoor exercise, they can recommend safe and easily accessible outdoor areas. From there, it’s up to the parents to take the lead and help encourage kids to exchange screen time for outdoor play.

Forming healthy habits includes using sun protection on a regular basis, especially when being active outdoors. Kids get between 50 to 80 percent of their lifetime sun exposure before age 18, and unprotected sun exposure can lead to health problems such as skin cancer later in life. To keep outdoor playtime safe, use the SunAWARE acronym:

SunAWARE Logo
SunAWARE Logo

Help your kids start good habits at an early age. Be SunAWARE and get outdoors!

Additional Resources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deepak-chopra/childhood-obesity_b_1029606.html

Photo courtesy of Micheal Newton and VA State Park Staff.

No Comments
Educate Others School sun safety SunAWARE

SunAWARE School Curriculum

The Children’s Melanoma Prevention Foundation (CMPF) began delivering skin cancer prevention education to school children from kindergarten through grade 12 in 2003.  Its founder Maryellen Maguire-Eisen believed that children needed to have a better understanding of UV intensity and sun protection.  In her career as an oncology/dermatology nurse practitioner, she witnessed an alarming change in the profile of the typical skin cancer patient.  Melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, was striking younger people and the numbers for all incidences of skin cancer were rising steadily.  The real tragedy is that a vast number of skin cancers are preventable and easily treated when detected early. 

Digital photography is utilized to create specialized individual student photographs that highlight sun damage.

In the eight years since its inception, the CMPF has enrolled over 100 participating schools in Massachusetts.  Its team of health educators has directly taught the SunAWARE Curriculum to over 250,000 school children.  Using a skin analyzer, SunAWARE educators show upper level students what their skin looks like beneath the visible surface.  “Seeing their accumulated skin damage is a powerful motivator for using sun protection measures while they are still young,” says Ms. Maguire-Eisen.

The SunAWARE curriculum has four major strands: Understanding Ultraviolet Radiation, Understanding Skin Sensitivity, Proven Methods of Sun Protection, and Skin Cancer Recognition and the SunAWARE Action Steps (seen below).  There are four instructional levels: K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12.  The curriculum at each level is aligned with the Massachusetts Frameworks in Health and Science.

The SunAWARE curriculum for all four levels is available for download and use free of charge from CMPF’s website, http://www.melanomaprevention.org/.  It is located on the Resource Center page under the SunAWARE program button.  Ms. Maguire-Eisen encourages parents, teachers, health educators, school administrators, community health and wellness personnel to visit the website and use the SunAWARE Program. “Our goal is to make the SunAWARE Program available to everyone as an international resource for sun safety education,” says Ms. Maguire-Eisen.  “Our ultimate goal is to protect all children from the senseless devastation of skin cancer.”  Be Safe.  Be SunAWARE.

5 Action Steps of SunAWARE
A
void 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.

Maryellen Teaching SunAWARE Curriculum

No Comments
Parenting

Abbey’s Hope On Pool Safety

Abbeys Hope Logo

Here at Coolibar we work hard to educate adults and kids about the importance of staying SunAWARE. Our friends at Abbey’s Hope, a local Minnesota non-profit, are just as serious about pool safety. Abbey’s Hope was created in honor of Abbey Taylor, a young girl whose tragic story inspired thousands of families and companies to give pool safety the attention it deserves.

As the summer winds down, you may be hitting the pool or beach for a few last days of fun in the sun. You’re most likely going to pack along your broad-spectrum sunscreen and Coolibar gear to help keep you safe from the damaging effects of UV. Besides avoiding nasty sunburn, Abbey’s Hope wants to make sure you don’t forget the other important ways you can remain safe at the pool. 

Abbey's Hope Pool Safety Event
Abbey's Hope Pool Safety Event (Photo courtesty of Abbey's Hope Facebook Page)

One way the organization educates our local community is by producing and sponsoring a number of fun events that help families learn to enjoy the pool in a safe way. Often partnering with other great non-profits, such as the YMCA, Abbey’s Hope has reached thousands of children, including the 2,400 kids they helped provide with water safety lessons and the 150 children who received a new swimsuit as a result of their “Bowling for Swimsuits” event.

Abbey’s Hope is a great source for information about how to stay safe at the pool. Some of the helpful pool safety tips they suggest are:

  • If you’re in a group, appoint a designated “water watcher,” taking turns with other adults.
  • While supervising, stay alert and avoid distractions like reading or the telephone.
  • Teach children how to tread water, float, and get out of the pool.
  • Tell children to stay away from pool and hot tub drains.
  • Never dive in to water less than nine feet deep.
  • If you find a drain cover that is loose, broken or missing, notify the owner or operator and do not enter the pool or hot tub.
  • Learn infant and child CPR.

The biggest fundraising event of the year for Abbey’s Hope is their Annual Golf Tournament, taking place September 12, 2011. The event helps raise money so the organization can continue its mission to make pools safe and to educate kids and adults about all the ways to have a fun, safe day at the pool. Because sun safety is an important and vital part of pool safety, this year Coolibar will be participating in the Golf Tournament by providing an information table with materials about how to stay SunAWARE.

If you’d like to learn more about Abbey’s Hope or how to participate in the Golf Tournament, please visit their website at http://abbeyshope.org/.

Safely Swimming for Abbey's Hope
Safely Swimming for Abbey's Hope (Photo courtesy of Abbey's Hope Facebook Page)
2 Comments