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SSA SunSations

The Official Sun Safety Alliance Newsletter

Volume IV Spring 2008

In This Issue:

▪ Sun Safety Alliance: A Strategic Communication and Entertainment-Education Initiative!

▪ SSA Collaborates with Crème de la Crème to Teach Young Children About Sun Safety

▪ Jeff Nygaard – How Melanoma Hit Home for this Professional Athlete

▪ Article: A Television Tanning Craze and its Effects on Adolescents

▪ “Picture This” on Sun Safety

▪ Spring Sun Safety Tip

▪ 2008 Sun Safety Week – June 1-7

Sun Safety Alliance, Inc.

A Strategic Communication and Entertainment-Education Initiative!

The Sun Safety Alliance has teamed with the Entertainment Industries Council, Inc. and George Mason University’s Department of Communication, to launch a highly visible national health communication campaign on skin cancer prevention. This partnership will utilize the power and influence of the entertainment industry to generate skin cancer awareness through national public service messages, depiction of sun safety messages in prime time entertainment programming, video productions created for parents and organizations, and special educational training programs. We will be working in over 20 communities nationally to gain local broadcast station involvement in promoting sun safety and skin cancer awareness.

Phil Schneider, Chairman of SSA stated, “I believe the new partnerships we are developing are unique and will prove to be an asset to the entire sun safety and skin cancer prevention field.”

Brian Dyak, President and CEO of the Entertainment Industries Council, Inc., is dedicated to the accurate entertainment depiction of health and social issues including sun safety and skin cancer. With regard to skin cancer prevention, Brian noted, “National health communication strategies that give voice to children and adolescents, and focus on conversations between patients and physicians on skin cancer prevention are needed to increase awareness on this dangerous issue.”

Dr. Gary Kreps, The Eileen and Steve Mandell Professor of Health Communication and Chair of the Department of Communication at George Mason University, is an internationally recognized health communication and health promotion scholar with broad experience with cancer prevention and control. He directs the Center for Health and Risk Communication at George Mason University and is a scientific consultant to major Federal agencies such as the National Cancer Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and many prominent health advocacy organizations including the American Cancer Society.

Dr. Kreps stated, "I am pleased to work closely with the Sun Safety Alliance and the Entertainment Industries Council to develop, implement, test, and refine innovative evidence-based communication strategies for reducing skin cancer incidence and mortality. Skin cancer is one of the most insidious, widespread, and dangerous forms of cancer. It develops invisibly over the years, primarily through overexposure to the sun's dangerous rays. Yet, by providing relevant and timely health information to those people at greatest risk, we can promote the adoption of risk reduction and early detection activities that will protect the public from skin cancer. This is our goal!"


SSA Collaborates with Crème de la Crème to Teach Young Children About Sun Safety

7The Sun Safety Alliance, in association with EIC, and with support from the Sabra Dalby Rightmire Foundation for Melanoma Education and Research, has launched theSun-Safe Childcare Project in Crème de la Crème® Early Learning Centers of Excellence® in 8 markets nationally. Dr. Charlotte Hendricks, Project Director, presented new materials to the Executive Directors of the 20 Crème de la Crème® learning centers during their recent annual training event in Colorado.

The SSA’sSun-Safe Childcare Projectmaterials include a staff training module, children’s learning activities, and parent education materials. Each Crème de la Crème® school was provided with a staff training module including the trainer’s guide, illustrated PowerPoint slide presentation, instructions and props for hands-on participant activities, reproducible handouts, and evaluation forms. In addition, each school received reproducible parent information sheets, instructions for children’s learning activities, and reproducible children’s take-home booklets.

9Kelly Erikson, owner of Rocky Mountain Sunscreen ( also attended the training program to answer questions on safety and effectiveness of sunscreen products for children.

The Crème de la Crème® Executive Directors are working with SSA staff to measure the impact of this integrated program on staff and parents of children enrolled in Crème de la Crème® early learning programs. The evaluation design includes qualitative and quantitative methods.

Crème’s learning-oriented floor plan reflects safety and security and attention to detail, while enhancing the concept of keeping children engaged as they learn. “We offer an enriched learning experience, and our educational model ensures that each child receives individualized attention. Partnering with the SSA Sun–Safe Early Childhood Project will help us continue to provide families with the most cutting edge information and services,” said Jody Martin, Crème’s National Director of Education and Training.

Established in 1982, Crème de la Crème® Early Learning Centers of Excellence® is headquartered in Greenwood Village, Colorado. The company is a national network of early learning centers located throughout the country including Atlanta, Denver, Dallas, Chicago, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Sterling, Virginia and Mt. Laurel, New Jersey. More information can be accessed at or by calling 303-773-6607.

For more information on the SSA Sun-Safe Early Childhood Project or to order materials for your early childcare and education program, please contact Dr. Charlotte Hendricks at You can also view Early Childhood Education resources at




A Note From Jeff Nygaard

How Melanoma Hit Home for this Professional Athlete

Three-time Olympian volleyball player

Seven-time AVP Open Champion

Two-time MVP and NCAA Champion

Melanoma Survivor

As a professional volleyball player, I spend a lot of time outdoors in the sun. From practice and competition to a family outing at the beach, being outside in direct sunlight is a huge part of my everyday life. Last year, however, I was faced with the harsh reality of sun exposure—I was diagnosed with carcinoma and melanoma, two types of skin cancer.

This painful realization of the inconsistency between my image as a healthy, tan beach athlete and where I found myself after my diagnosis really focused my priorities. My education ofsun safety came quickly, but not as quickly as the desire to educate others so that they may never find themselves in the situation I was in. By serving on the Board of Directors of the Sun Safety Alliance, I am now in a better position to help spread the word and educate people across the country on the effects of the sun.

My personal experience with skin cancer and my position as a professional beach volleyball player presents me with a great opportunity to reach out and educate people about the importance of sun safety. The truth is that there are 1.2 million people diagnosed with skin cancer every year, and melanoma kills one person every hour.3







Improving public awareness will help reduce skin cancer rates by informing people on the ways that they can protect themselves from overexposure and help bring the statistics down. Unfortunately, in some older adults, the damage has already been done. However, it is never too late to start practicing sun safety, and it is especially important that parents keep their children informed and protected.

Important tips for being sun-safe

  • Remember that the sun is strongest between 10:00AM and 4:00 PM.

  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat and UV protective sunglasses

  • Remember that UV rays bounce off of sand, snow, concrete, and water

  • Do not use tanning beds or sun lamps

  • Keep very young children (6 months or less) out of the sun

  • Provide complete sunscreen coverage for your skin (including neck, ears, and lips)

  • Sunscreen should be applied liberally and evenly over all exposed areas

  • Use sunscreen SPF 30 or higher

  • Use lipbalm with SPF 15 or higher

  • Apply sunscreen before going outdoors and reapply often

  • Reapply sunscreen after swimming, perspiring, and toweling off

  • Stay in the shade whenever possible

I continue to compete in beach volleyball, and I continue to refuse to let cancer stop me from living my life. Armed with the proper knowledge about sun safety and the best ways to protect myself, I can focus on my career—and on raising awareness about preventable skin cancers caused by the sun. My goal is reach young parents, children and teens and ideally see the fans of Beach Volleyball who attend our competitions realize that being red as a lobster by the end of the day is not healthy and is a dangerous behavior putting them at risk for skin cancer. The key message I hope to impart is that sun safety can help curb a significantly preventable disease so…learn, don’t burn!



A Television Tanning Craze and its Effects on Adolescents


The SSA, through our partnership with the EIC, is confident that our efforts to promote positive skin cancer awareness messages in entertainment media will not only be an effective tool for prevention education, but will impact the healthy behavior choices of adolescents.

In a recent article by dermatologist Robin L. Hornung, MD, MPH, FAAD, and her collaborator Solmaz Poorsattar’s(2008),TelevisionTurning More Teens Toward Tanning?, the authors address the negative implications of popular televisionprogramming on adolescent health. E! Television’s Sunset Tan series and MTV’s The Real World: Key West, are television shows highlighted in the article with celebrity appearances from Britney Spears and Paris Hilton popularizing the bronzed fake-tan look. The media undoubtedly has strong influences on young women’s self images. Young women are inclined tobelieve that bronze = beautiful with the glamorization of tanning salons in popular entertainment media and may be prone to engage in unhealthy behaviors as a result.





Uniquely, awareness is the key. Larry Deutchman, EIC’s Vice President of Entertainment Industry Relations said, “More of the entertainment companies are intentionally working to encourage behavior that prevents skin cancer. They may be reflecting the popular culture, but that can change through education and creative resources about sun safety and skin cancer prevention.”

However, the negative implications of the media in regards to sun safety are only one side of the coin.The Entertainment Industries Council, Inc. (EIC) is a powerful example of how media can also be an effective channel for providing positive skin cancer prevention education messages. For example, the EIC provides entertainment creators with sun safetydepiction suggestions that screenwriters can easily incorporate into their storylines. The EIC also holds briefings to educate entertainment talent on health and social issues, including sun safety. Their Spotlight on Sun Safety and Profile publications highlight the importance of generating sun safety awareness in entertainment media.



Entertainment Industries Council, Inc. and NAB to Host a Picture This Meeting on Sun Safety in Washington, DC during Sun Safety Week!

The Entertainment Industries Council, Inc. convenes forums, called Picture This, that bring together constituency groups outside of the entertainment industry to discuss health and social issues and develop priorities for the entertainment industry in addressing those issues. The Entertainment Industries Council, Inc. will be hosting aPicture Thismeeting on skin cancer and sun safety with help from the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), the Sun Safety Alliance, skin cancer experts, and writers and producers from the entertainment industry in June. This meeting and subsequent EIC publication will provide suggestions for the depiction of key issues regarding skin cancer to improve public awareness on this important topic. The meeting will focus on opportunities and challenges for addressing skin cancer and sun safety in entertainment productions. More information on this coming soon!

Please visit or call the EIC at (703) 481-1414 for more information on Picture This briefings.


Spring Sun Safety Tip


Springtime can mean fun in the sun with family vacations, outdoor sports and activities, and spring break trips. Be sure to “block the sun, not the fun” by applying sunscreen SPF 30+ about 20 minutes before going outdoors and by reapplying often! Remember, the sun is at its highest and strongest between 10:00 AM-4:00 PM.

The SSA encourages parents to lead by example. If you practice sun safety, your children are likely to model those sun safe habits. Teach your children at an early age to wear hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen outdoors.6






2008 Sun Safety Week is June 1-7

4The Sun Safety Alliance is pleased to announce collaboration with HealthyCHILDCare® magazine’s special issue devoted to summer safety! Healthy Childcare® is a bimonthly publication for childcare programs devoted to health and safety issues. This upcoming publication will feature sun safety, food safety in hot weather and for field trips, social aspects of outdoor play, heat related illnesses, and skin cancer detection and prevention. Be on the lookout for Healthy Childcare's® June-July issue on summer and sun safety for children in a childcare setting coinciding with National Sun Safety Week! For more information visit, or call 877-258-6178.



For more information contact the Sun Safety Alliance


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