May 28, 2021
The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention has designated the Friday before Memorial Day as “Don’t Fry Day” to raise awareness of skin cancer prevention and to encourage everyone to protect their skin as they head outdoors to kick off the summer season.
Ultraviolet (UV) rays emitted from the sun can cause the most common cancer in America – skin cancer. Over 90% of skin cancer is caused by exposure to these rays, either from the sun or through indoor tanning devices.
While current statistics estimate 1 in 5 Americans will be diagnosed with some form of skin cancer in their lifetime, skin cancer is highly preventable. Even one sunburn during childhood increases the risk of getting skin cancer later in life. Therefore, sun protection, education, habit building, and role modeling is crucial for young children.
As a free community resource, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center developed Ray and the Sunbeatables®: A Sun Safety Curriculum for PreK – 1st graders and Be Sunbeatable™ for 2nd – 5th graders. These fun, engaging programs are now available to parents and educators at no cost through the CATCH.org platform.
In honor of “Don’t Fry Day” we encourage you to practice these 5 sun-safety tips all year long:
- Reapply sunscreen every 1–2 hours and after swimming or sweating.
- Seek shade between 10 AM – 4 PM when the sun’s UV rays are strongest.
- Use sunscreen and lip balm with SPF 30.
- Cover as much skin as possible by wearing tightly woven clothing, wide-brimmed hats, and sunglasses.
- Talk to your child’s daycare, school, or out-of-school care site about implementing a prevention program for kids, like those mentioned above.