School is out & the UV index will be over 10 for the next couple of months, meaning that it’s sun safety season.  Since the majority of a person’s lifetime exposure to the sun occurs by the age of 18, it’s crucial to protect and educate parents and children about the simple steps to take to limit sun exposure.   With little more than a good idea and some pocket change from the preventive health block grant, we created the Arizona SunWise School Program in 2003.  In August 2005, Arizona became the first state to mandate sun safety education by requiring that all K-8 public and charter schools teach the SunWise Sun Safety School Program.

The SunWise Program shows kids & teachers simple steps they can take to protect themselves from overexposure to the sun. Children also develop an understanding of the environmental concepts related to sun safety.  Students demonstrate the ability to practice health-enhancing behaviors and reduce health risks at an early age. These good sun safety habits can last a lifetime.  Also, here’s a link to common-sense Skin Cancer Prevention materials from the CDC for families and summer schools.  You can also tell someone how to protect their skin from the sun with CDC’s Skin Cancer electronic greeting card.

The SunWise program works with the Arizona Diamondbacks every year on a Sun Safety Poster – the winner was announced at last night’s Diamondbacks game – check it out on our Facebook page.

Also, a new study this week found that frequently using indoor tanning studios increased melanoma (skin cancer) risk no matter when the person started to go to indoor tanning salons.  Elevated risks were found with all different kinds of tanning beds.  You can see the Full Text (PDF) of the article on-line.