Today is “Don’t Fry Day!” The Friday before Memorial Day is coined “Don’t Fry Day” in hopes that people will take the extra precautions to practice safe sun protection habits. It’s the weekend when many of us will be hitting the beaches, having picnics at the park and just enjoying the outdoors and long holiday weekend. Keep you and your family safe and let the world know you are by taking the “Don’t Fry Day” Pledge!
Here are some great sun protection tips from the Skin Cancer Prevention website:
Do Not Burn.
- Avoid intentional tanning.
- Avoid tanning beds.
Ultraviolet light from the sun and tanning beds causes skin cancer and wrinkling. If you want to look like you’ve been in the sun, consider using a sunless self-tanning product, but continue to use sunscreen with it.
Generously Apply Sunscreen to all exposed skin using a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15 that provides broad-spectrum protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Re-apply every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.
Wear Sun Protective Clothing such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, where possible.
Seek Shade when appropriate, remembering that the sun’s rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Use Extra Caution Near Water, Snow, and Sand as they reflect the damaging rays of the sun which can increase your chance of sunburn.
Get Vitamin D Safely through a healthy diet that includes vitamin supplements. Don’t seek the sun.
“Don’t Fry Day” also marks the end of National Skin Cancer Awareness Month. You still have until May 31st to place your UV Skinz order to receive a complimentary Special Edition “What’s a Sunburn” baby skinz swim shirt! Go to the UV Skinz Facebook fan page and share what special child or organization you gifted your baby skinz to!
Today marks the start of our 6th Annual “My First Skinz” Campaign in honor of National Skin Cancer Awareness Month. You will probably hear a lot about how to protect yourself from this treatable disease. You will see a lot of pictures and diagrams about the statistics of skin cancer and the signs to look for. You will most likely be told to cover-up, wear sunscreen, stay out of the sun at certain times of the day. It is true that just one childhood sunburn can more than double your chances of developing skin cancer in adulthood. More than 73% of skin cancer deaths are from Melanoma and more than 3.5 million skin cancers diagnosed on over 2 million people each year.
Despite all of the facts, warnings and statistics–we want to give you more. We want to give you a way to help teach and give the gift of sun protection to the ones who matter the most, children. UV Skinz is proud to provide worry-free alternatives for sun protection. This month our gift to every one who places an order during the month of May is a “What’s a Sunburn” My First Skinz Baby UV protective swim shirt. Rhonda Sparks, Founder of UV Skinz, truly believes that healthy sun protection habits should begin early and be taught daily. When Rhonda lost her husband to melanoma in 2001, leaving her with three small boys, it was their future health and happiness that led Rhonda to found UV Skinz. Ever since, UV Skinz has never lost sight of the goal to get kids covered. Teaching our children good sun-safety habits is important so that they continue these practices into adulthood. UV Skinz makes it easy with comfortable, high-quality, and stylish swim shirts.
“The free baby swim shirt giveaway gets families in the early habit of making sure their children have adequate sun protection – not just through sunscreen, which can be irritating to skin – but through our UV swim shirts and UPF 50+ clothing,” says company founder, Rhonda Sparks.
Remember for every order placed during May you will find our special edition “What’s A Sunburn” Baby Skinz inside your package! Please pay-it-forward by donating this shirt to a child so they will never know what a sunburn is. There will be a flyer within each order asking for you to pass along the Baby Skinz to a needy organization; your local women’s shelter, red cross, maternity ward, mommies group, a friend or family member. The possibilities are endless! We would love to hear where the Baby Skinz end up!
If you would like to know more about the campaign feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 1-877-887-5468.
These two New Zealand teens have created a visual reminder to reapply sunscreen in hopes that their efforts will raise awareness about skin cancer and Melanoma. Danielle Watt and Sarah Mount are participating in a school program called Young Enterprise. Taking sun safety into their own hands they created the Exposure Band, which looks like a rubber watch. The Exposure Band is a sensor that changes color when the wearer needs to apply more sunscreen. When the wearer applies sunscreen to their skin they also apply the same amount to the face of the band. As the sunblock wears off of the skin and the band the Exposure Band changes color (from white to bright yellow) alerting the user that it is time to reapply! The bands come in 7 colors and are made for kids and adults. For now these bands are only being sold on their Facebook page. The teens will be donating the sales to the Skin Cancer Foundation. (Source: Brisbane Times)
This cause hits close to home because they have both known someone diagnosed with Melanoma and live in a place where skin cancer is the most common cancer. In New Zealand, new skin cancers total about 67,000 per year, compared to a total of 16,000 for all other types of cancer. There is a one in 17 chance that a person from New Zealand will develop Melanoma. It is not just affecting older people, but it is quickly becoming a young persons disease–Melanoma is the most common type of cancer for 25–44 year old males (17 deaths in 2004) and 15–24 year old females (12 deaths in 2004). (Source: Science Learning)
Many people believe that putting their sunscreen on once a day will protect them from skin damage, UV exposure and ultimately skin cancer. This is not true. Sunscreen must be reapplied at least every two hours, less when in and out of the water. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, UV protective clothing and avoiding the peak hours of the day are also other ways to protect your skin from sun damage, sunburn and skin cancer.
Wearing Exposure Bands would be a fun way to keep track of sun exposure and a subtle reminder to reapply sunscreen. Children would especially benefit from this product; giving them independence in their own sun safety with less nagging from Mom to put on more sunscreen!
Would you wear one?
Marcie Birk, a Health Educator with the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine reported on recreational and occupational exposure to the sun. Occupational sun exposure increases a persons risk of skin cancer by 43-77%. Many soldiers are usually exposed to harmful rays all the time, by default of their occupation. Soldiers can be exposed to many hours of UV radiation during unit and individual training. They are encouraged to take the proper sun safety precautions as the general public; to use a sunblock with an SPF 30+ and reapply every two hours, and to wear a wide-brimmed hat.
Some people still will let their pride and stubbornness get in the way of healthy sun protection habits. Here is a list of excuses that are commonly heard…
Excuse: “Sunblocks smell flowery and feminine.”
Answer: By unscented formulations. They are just as effective without the scent.
Excuse: “The oily base makes my skin feel greasy. ‘
Answer: Try out other brands to find what feels right to you.
Excuse: “They make my hands slippery.”
Answer: Try a sport sunscreen. They are designed to absorb quickly.
Excuse: “When I sweat, the stuff runs into my eyes and stings.”
Answer: Use a stick sunscreen on your forehead and around your eyes. Never put sunscreen directly on your eyes.
But, what happens if they do get burned?
J. Solis (U.S. Navy) said, “For us, we don’t get sunscreen provided by the command. We have to get it ourselves. I used to get in trouble all the time for sunburns when I was stationed in Hawaii. Now a days people don’t really get in trouble for sunburns while being in uniform.”
These instances occur in the United States as well as other countries. The Canadian Military has a statute for dealing with severe sunburn. One Canadian soldier recalled being a student on officer training during the summer of 1990. At the end of the formal training and before the graduation the training center put on a huge sports day called Exercise Spartan Warrior. The competition uniform for the day was combat boots, trousers, and t-shirts. The Canadian soldier says he slathered himself in the military issue sunscreen (SPF 8) and competed out in the sun all day until the end of the competition. He admits the day after he was so burned on his arms and the back of his neck that he had to report to the Medical Inspection Room where he was diagnosed with 2nd degree burns. He was then told by the duty medic that because the burns got to 2nd degree he would have to be investigated for a summary charge of “Self-Inflicted Wound”. Luckily, for the soldier it was proven that he had “indeed used the supplied sunscreen and had not inflicted himself with the wound and was not negligent in protecting himself.”
How can soldiers protect themselves?
- Use a sunblock with an SPF 30+ and reapply every two hours
- Try to stay covered if out in the sun for more than 30 minutes at a time; wide-brimmed hat, long sleeves and pants.
How can the military can help?
- Provide a sunscreen with an SPF of 30+
- Make it mandatory /provide UV protective clothing
What can YOU do to help?
- Collect sun protection products by asking people to donate in support of our troops!