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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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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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SunAWARE

Perfect Skin Protection – Vol. 2, No. 1

The latest issue of Perfect Skin Protection from SunAWARE just hit the Apple Newsstand this week. And if you haven’t yet read through this publication, you should. It’s FREE and chock full of the latest advice on skin protection from leading dermatologists, health & beauty experts, educators and skin cancer survivors. Plus, this issue features an article by Coolibar’s very own, President John Barrow.

“These articles, especially the special section, demonstrate that skin protection, far from being a personal or cosmetic issue, is a global concern, affecting the health and well-being of individuals and families in different countries around the world,” said Mary Mills Barrow, executive director of SunAWARE International Foundation.

“We urge our readers to take advantage of the advice offered by our experts and incorporate it into their daily routines, for themselves and for their families,” she added.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Available on the Apple Newsstand in the Health Category or by clicking here: http://bit.ly/SRrvV0.

Enjoy and share!

Be SunAWARE. Be safe.

 

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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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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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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

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School sun safety SunAWARE

Building a School Sun Protection Program

STOP THE BURN logo

The Center of Disease Control ranks Washington and Idaho among the highest in mortality and morbidity rates related to skin cancer, including melanoma. It is hard to pinpoint the reason for these statistics, but the need for sun safety education remains.

Advanced Dermatology & Skin Surgery, located in Spokane, WA, and Coeur d’Alene, ID, is taking steps to educate youth and ultimately the greater community. Kathy LejaMeyer, ARNP at Advanced Dermatology, shares how she and her colleagues are working to make sun protection a priority in local schools.

Advanced Dermatology wants to “Stop the Burn” by introducing hats into early elementary grades (K-2) of schools in the Spokane / Coeur d’Alene area to be worn during recess. Scientifically, it is widely regarded that peak exposure to UVA/UVB rays is between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Accumulation of these rays during recess, starting at young ages, can set children up for skin cancer down the road.

We piloted a Coolibar School Sun Hat Program in the kindergarten center in Spokane, WA this past Spring (2011) coordinating with skin cancer awareness month in May. Teachers, administrators and the school nurses embraced this outreach and wove in the SunWise curriculum, an EPA sponsored program, to increase awareness among the students. Our physicians and staff read “Skin Sense”, chanted our “Stop the BURN” song with the kids and smiled as the students repeated “3 things they can do to keep sun safe” prior to running out to the playground.

Raising money for a Coolibar School Sun Hat Program:

The hardest part of a good cause—even a great cause—is keeping it sustainable. Advanced Dermatology considers this a work in progress. This year, we teamed with the renown Coeur d’Alene Resort for a “gives back” golf tournament in which all sponsorship monies and $25 / participant goes back to our fundraising effort. The concept is great, but budget a lot of time and ensure you have a strong committee to reach out to the community, connect with your patient base and engage supporting physicians and providers. Again and again you will hear the first year is the hardest, but connections you make are significant. We are also considering other fundraising options, such as selling parents passes for a day in the park with a bouncy house, to include this target group (ages 5-8) and provide increased community education and involvement. Advanced Dermatology would also like to institute a “Hat Club,” providing an office fund and opportunity for patients to purchase a hat for a student.

From proceeds earned, we want to get hats into various elementary schools each year in both Spokane, Washington and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Our hope is to gain parental and community support that eventually, purchasing a Coolibar hat to be worn during recess is just as normal as purchasing pencils and erasers. Just as it is widely regarded to wear a helmet while riding a bike or clicking your seatbelt in the car, it is our goal to incite the value of sun protection and skin cancer awareness with a hat in place while running out for recess.

We have partnered with a respected company in sun protection, Coolibar, for the purchase of the hats and adopted the SunAWARE slogan highly regarded by the Skin Cancer Foundation, American Academy of Dermatology and World Health Organization. We count ourselves most fortunate to communicate this message to our community.

– Kathy LejaMeyer, ARNP, Advanced Dermatology and Skin Surgery

Sun Safe Song: Chant of sorts…kids repeat each line

Sunny or a cloudy day,
I will go outside and play.
With a hat upon my head,
Sunscreen on, I won’t turn red.

Sunscreen, yes indeed,
Helps me, keep wrinkle free.
Hat  on, I have learned,
Helps me, Stop the BURN!

If you are interested in learning more about Coolibar’s School Sun Hat Program or more on how Advanced Dermatology worked to get a school sun protection program launched, please contact us. 

[nggallery id=17]

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Parenting School sun safety SunAWARE

Meet Our 2011 School Sun Hat Contest Winners

The 2011 Coolibar School Sun Hat Contest had over 750 entries from students, teachers, PTA members, and nonprofit organizations from across the US. We even had a few entries from Australia!  Thanks to the efforts of the five lucky winners, entire classrooms of students will be able to safely enjoy the summer sun, and stay well protected beneath their new Coolibar Sun Hats!  

And the winners are …

4th Grade - Notre Dame Academy
4th Grade - Notre Dame Academy

Nicholas from Notre Dame Academy – Los Angeles, CA 

Every student from Notre Dame Academy’s fourth grade class entered the Coolibar Sun Hat Contest, but Nicholas was the lucky winner. The students were able to put the hats to good use during the many end of year activities at Notre Dame Academy. A walking field trip, an end of year picnic, and an annual school camping trip gave the kids plenty of chances to practice sun safety while wearing their new Sun Hats.  

  

Anna from Goddard Pre-school
Anna from Goddard Pre-school

Anna from Goddard School – PA 

Every year Anna’s family goes on vacation to St. Thomas, and they always stock up on sun protective clothing because the whole family is fair skinned, especially young Anna. They got the entry form for the School Hat Contest with an order from Coolibar and decided to enter. Anna’s whole class is very glad she entered the contest because during the summer, they spend a lot of time exercising and enjoying snacks outside.  Goddard’ s Parent Teacher Organization has been trying to obtain large sun shades for the playground for the past few years; however, the cost of these sun shades are beyond their budget.  In the meantime, the school is planning on using portable gazebos to give the children a place to cool off while they are playing, or even to gather while they have story time. And now, thanks to Anna, they’ll get the benefit of great sun protection from their new Coolibar Sun Hats!

 

4th grade Baldwin School students wearing their new Coolibar Sun Hats
4th grade Baldwin School students wearing their new Coolibar Sun Hats

Gayle from the Baldwin School – Bryn Mawr, PA   

Gayle is a 4th grade science teacher at the Baldwin school, a college prep school for girls. She entered the Coolibar Sun Hat Contest because she believes that living a sun safe lifestyle starts at a young age. She hasn’t always believed that, though.  “I grew up in an era where we used sunTAN lotion, not sunscreen lotion, with the resulting negative effects on my skin.  Who knew? So [now] I wear sun protection clothing all the time,” says Gayle. The students appreciate the protection from the hats, but they especially love that the Sun Hats match their school uniforms perfectly!

 

5th Grade – Cesar Chavez Elementary

Kinsey from Cesar Chavez Elementary – Davis, CA   

Cesar Chavez Elementary is a Spanish Immersion school for grades K-6, and is one of the largest elementary schools in Davis. The kids had a “play day” at the end of the school year where they spent about 4 hours outside. With their new Coolibar Sun Hats, now they’ll be getting superior sun protection while enjoying the sun!

 

Emily Coolibar Hat
Emily in her new Coolibar Hat

Emily from New Albany Elementary – New Albany, OH 

Emily was very excited to win sun hats for her class, because she already wears Coolibar products on family trips to Florida and family cruises. She was so happy to share the quality sun protection that our Sun Hats offer with her classmates and teacher, especially after she saw how much they all loved the hats. New Albany Elementary is part of New Albany-Plain Local Schools, which is a community of schools housed on an 80 acre college-style campus. The kids were looking forward to wearing their new hats during a walking field trip on their beautiful campus, ending with an ice cream treat. Unfortunately, the weather had different plans, and with the rainstorm they got that day, they probably could have used a few Coolibar Titanium Travel Umbrellas! Though the weather in Ohio hasn’t been very sunny lately, the kids are all looking forward to wearing their new Coolibar Sun Hats on the hot, sunny summer days ahead.

Look for our 2012 contest form next year.  In the meantime, learn more about the Coolibar School Sun Hat Program.

 

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