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Official Newsletter for Sun Safety Alliance

In This Issue, Spring 2006

Letter from the Executive Director

Welcome to the first issue of the Sun Safety Alliance Newsletter. We hope you enjoy this newsletter and will use the information in your own sun safety advocacy. Our challenge is great, but by working together we can raise awareness of ways to prevent skin cancer . . . and save lives!

We depend upon our partners to help us increase awareness about skin cancer prevention, and we hope you will share this newsletter with colleagues across the United States. As you will read in the following articles, one of our goals is for at least one million individuals to join the Mothers and Others Against Skin Cancer campaign. Another goal is to help childcare providers protect children from overexposure to the sun. You can help us reach this goal by sharing information about our Sun Safe Child Care Project with childcare programs, schools, churches, community groups, and others.

We welcome your comments and suggestions.

Sincerely,

Phil Schneider
Executive Director

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Who We Are and What We Are Doing

The Sun Safety AllianceŅĒ (SSA) was established as a nonprofit coalition dedicated to the task of reducing the incidence of skin cancer in America. SSA is working to educate the public and improve public awareness regarding the importance of sun care safety, especially for children. Our mission is to significantly reduce the incidence of skin cancer in the United States by motivating people to actively adopt and practice safe sun behavior.

Since its inception, SSA has pushed a national movement for sun safety. In 2005, SSA worked with Congress and the President to launch the first annual Sun Safety Week and released national survey findings. Another effort by SSA is encouraging participation in the Mothers and Others Against Skin Cancer (MASC) initiative, an effort designed to mobilize one million mothers and others in communities nationwide, to embrace sun safe practices with their families and to volunteer to promote sun safety in their communities. SSA also works with corporate America to help raise awareness about sun safety issues and to promote safe sun habits, and provides a sun safety checklist and other helpful information to educators, health care professionals and parents. Corporations which have been involved with SSA include Kodak, Coppertone and the Walt Disney Companys Helping Hand program.

In this newsletter, you can learn more about these initiatives and find out how you can be involved. To learn more about SSA and about sun safety, please visit www.sunsafetyalliance.org.

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Second Annual Sun Safety Week
June 4 10, 2006

The national observance of Sun Safety Week was recognized in a 2005 congressional action by both the House of Representatives, sponsored by Michael Bilirakis (R-FL) and Anna Eshoo (D-CA), and in the Senate by John McCain (R-AZ) and John Sununu (R-NH). Scheduled for the first week in June each year, the 2nd Annual Sun Safety Week is June 4 10, 2006.

This year we will release a new wave of national research and a video news release highlighting these research findings. Another exciting event will be the Beach Patrol program. With beaches as popular summer time hangout locations for teens, young adults and families, we will work to set up Sun Block Parties at several popular beaches.

These events will provide free skin screenings to beachgoers, as well as other sun safety items.

Contact pschneider@nacds.org for more information on these Sun Safety Week events and a press kit.

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Mothers and Others Against Skin Cancer (MASC)

Enjoying the outdoors is something we all like to do, whether as part of family activities, participation in sports or simply walking and enjoying nature and sunshine. Outdoor activities provide us with fresh air, exercise and sunshine. Children who regularly spend time running, jumping and playing outdoors are generally more fit and have a lower risk of childhood obesity.

While the sun is important to our health and our environment, too much sun exposure may not be good for you and your children. In fact, overexposure to the suns UV radiation is the leading cause of skin cancer. Skin cancer incidence rates are growing the fastest of all cancers, with more than two cases diagnosed every minute. The good news is that skin cancer is preventable.

Effective sun safety begins in childhood, and the people who care for children can promote sun safety as a lifelong habit. Mothers, fathers, guardians, caregivers, teachers and other adults can make a difference in the lives of children. To date several thousand individuals have joined MASC; our goal is to have one million individuals join MASC and show that they are concerned about childrens health and preventing skin cancer.

We encourage individuals especially parents and caregivers, to join MASC. To join visit http://www.sunsafetyalliance.org.

There is no cost and no obligation to join. Individual members benefit by receiving:

  • The quarterly newsletter of Sun Safety Alliance
  • Sun safety facts and information
  • Consumer coupons related to sun safety products such as sunscreen, sunglasses and hats.

As a member, we can also provide you with information about sun safety developments in your state if you would like to become an advocate for the cause.

As an added bonus --- individuals who sign up for MASC by November 30, 2006, will be automatically entered into a drawing for an all expense paid 4 day visit to a Disney theme part of choice (airfare for family of 4, hotel, and park admission) total value of up to $3,000.

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Sun Safe Childcare Project

Sun safety is especially important for young children. Because of the lifestyle of children, on average, children get 3 times more exposure than adults! The vast majority, perhaps as much as 80% of a persons lifetime sun exposure, is estimated to occur in the childhood and teenage years. Research indicates that one serious childhood sunburn could trigger skin cancer in later years.

SSA has launched its latest initiative, the Sun Safe Childcare Project in collaboration with BeSunSensible. The purpose of this initiative is to increase public awareness of sun safety and to motivate parents, child caregivers and young children to be sun safe. Approximately 60% of children in the United States are enrolled in some type of childcare during their formative preschool years, so the childcare setting provides an opportunity to reach both children and parents.

In December, 2005, SSA and BeSunSensible hosted the Sun Safe Childcare Formation Meeting dinner as a kick-off for this project. Participants in this meeting represented national organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Childcare and the National Child Care Association. Also included were representatives of corporate and private childcare, and resource and referral agencies as well as healthcare professionals representing dermatology and child care health nurses.

This elite group brought a variety of expertise and experience to the table to discuss the issues and concerns related to sun safety and childcare, and to provide ideas and recommendations. In order to meet recommendations of the Formation Group, childcare providers will need appropriate resources, including policy and procedures, staff training, parent information and childrens learning activities.

Over the next two years we plan to create an electronic tool kit of resource materials that can be downloaded and modified for use by childcare programs.

In order to teach this goal, SSA needs partners. A partnership means that your organization or program agrees that this is an important project and that you are willing to work with us; such as providing feedback on whether you like the materials or giving us ideas of what would be helpful in your programs. We are seeking partners such as childcare programs, nonprofit organizations, professional organizations and other groups with an interest in keeping children sun safe. We also encourage businesses and corporations to join us in this endeavor.

In return, you will receive information and materials from this important project as they become available. Other benefits include reciprocal links from SSAs website to our partners, enhanced awareness of partnering corporations and their products and services, and recognition as a partner in a national initiative.

To become a partner, contact Dr. Charlotte Hendricks, Project Director, at chendricks@nacds.org.

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Five of the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVPs) top female players have signed onto the Mothers and Others Against Skin Cancer campaign: Holly McPeak, a three-time Olympain who took home the first-ever bronze medal in Athens in 2004; Kerri Walsh , considered the best female beach volleyball player of all time; Elaine Young , who shared the Bronze Medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics; Rachel Wacholder , who is emerging as one of the sports top players; and Jennifer Kessy , another of the sports new stars.

The Sun Safety Alliance and affiliate member EIC were invited, along with 30 other media outlets, to the AVP media day to announce the launch of their 2006 season.

Wacholder, Kessy, Young, Walsh, McPeak

T-Shirt Back

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Partnership in Action

Brian Dyak, President of the Entertainment Industries Council (EIC), has joined SSA in spreading the word about sun safety. The EIC newsletter included Spotlight on Sun Safety http://www.eiconline.org/issues/sunsafety/sunsafety.pdf and also joined SSA in launching the SunScan Awards http://www.eiconline.org/services/sunscan/sunscanad.pdf.

New York Special Olympics , the recipient of a $10,000 grant from SSA and the Rite Aid Corporation, developed a Regional Sun Safety Toolkit for each of the nine state regions and the NYSO headquarters, and a Coaches Sun Sack for volunteer coaches. The tool kit included a How-To Manual detailing how to set up sun safety at their local competitions, a fact sheet, brochures and tip sheets, resource information and more. They also provided Coaches Sun Sacks to the 600 coaches attending the NY Summer Games in June 2005. Each knapsack contained sunscreen, lip balm, sun safety educational literature, a UV intensity meter card, a UV coated water bottle, a sun safe hat, UV key chains, sun guard detergent for clothes and a sun safety logo luggage tag.

The Disney Hand Program gave a strong vote of confidence to the SSA through renewal of their pledge to support the SSA for 2005 and 2006. This support helps enable the SSA to fully implement the MASC program, The Barbara Bush PSA, issuance of the 2 nd annual National Report Card on Sun Safety, a TV and radio satellite media tour during Sun Safety Week, and production of a took kit for our affiliate member organizations. We also look forward to continuing our relationship with radio Disney, the Wild About Safety Program http://disney.go.com/safety/ and other opportunities with Disney programs.

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Focus on Sun Safety Advocates

Karen Cottrell is a melanoma survivor who is committed to spreading the word about melanoma and the dangers of sun exposure. Currently a 7 th grade health teacher in the Lakota Public School District in West Chester, Ohio, Karens career has included teaching positions at the elementary, secondary and college level, and numerous teacher in-service trainings on various health related topics. She has written and supervised correspondence courses and mentored many aspiring health educators into the profession through her supervision of student teachers. In addition, she has worked with adult populations in community health through several grant projects and provided in-service training for teachers. Karen has developed a PowerPoint presentation on skin cancer prevention and has presented it to professionals at the local, state and national level. Thanks Karen for helping to spread the word and increase awareness!

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Sun Safety Resources

Check out the links below for more sun safety news and information. Also, visit our website for more resources and links.

Newsletters

Links for Children and Parents

Sun Safety in Schools and Childcare

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Affiliated Members of the Sun Safety Alliance

American Academy of Dermatologists
American Academy of Pediatricians
American Academy of Physician Assistants
American Canoe Association
American Hotel & Lodging Association
American Meteorological society
American Recreation coalition
American School Health Association
BeSunSensible Program of Massachusetts
Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington
Cancer Crusaders
Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation
Coalition for Skin Cancer Prevention in Maryland
Colette Coyne Melanoma Awareness Campaign
Crme de la Crme
Crown Laboratories
David Kahn Melanoma Foundation
Del Ray Dermatologicals
Entertainment Industries Council
Environmental Protection Agency SunWise School Program
Los Angeles Metropolitan Dermatological Society
MD Anderson Center
National Association of Elementary School Principles
National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
National Association of School Nurses
National Child Care Association
National Consumers League
National Council on Patient Information and Education
National Resource Center for Health & Safety in Child Care
National Safe Kids Campaign
National Womens Health Resource Center
Presidents Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (The)
SHADE Foundation
Skin Cancer Foundation (The)
Special Olympics International
Sun Safety for Kids
Toy Industries Association
Training & Technical Assistance Services Western Kentucky University


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