The Skin Cancer Foundation Helps Children Stay Sun-Safe at School with New Doctor’s Note …Parents Encouraged to Access Sun Protection Form, Available at SkinCancer.Org
New York, NY – Because many schools don’t allow students to use sunscreen or wear a hat outdoors during the school day without written permission from a physician, The Skin Cancer Foundation has created a sun protection form that parents and doctors can sign, allowing students to bring these items to school, apply and use as needed. The form is available at www.skincancer.org/schoolnote.
“Every child should have access to proper sun protection at school,” says Perry Robins, MD, President of The Skin Cancer Foundation. “Alarmingly, California is the only state with legislation that gives children the right to take sun protection measures at school. Given the absence of similar legislation in other states, the Foundation hopes to fill this void by providing parents with the necessary means to ensure their children stay safe in the sun at school.”
During a typical school day, it’s not unusual for children to receive a significant amount of sun exposure. Children in elementary school typically have outdoor recess between 10 AM and 2 PM, a time when the sun is especially intense. Proper sun protection in childhood can drastically reduce the risk of developing skin cancer as an adult. Suffering just one blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence more than doubles a person’s risk of developing melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, later in life.
The Skin Cancer Foundation has always recommended that everyone, regardless of age and skin color, adopt a complete sun protection regimen. At school, children should be able to cover-up with protective clothing, including broad-brimmed hats and UV-blocking sunglasses. Additionally, they should wear a broad-spectrum SPF 15 sunscreen every day, and be allowed to bring it to school for easy reapplication. The Skin Cancer Foundation’s sun protection form ensures that children have access to recommended sun safety measures.
The Skin Cancer Foundation strives to educate children about the dangers of skin cancer and the need for early detection and prevention. The Foundation recently debuted Sun Smart U, an interactive education program that includes a robust website for teachers and a free downloadable lesson plan. Sun Smart U was designed in accordance with National Health Standards for middle and high school students and may be particularly useful to Health and Physical Education teachers. Through Sun Smart U, students learn about the dangers of tanning through the real-life story of a young woman with Stage III melanoma, and the importance of incorporating a proper sun protection regimen into their everyday lifestyles. For more information, please visit www.skincancer.org/education.