Tips for preventing skin cancer

ELLSWORTH — Healthy Acadia is offering tips for Skin Cancer Awareness Month.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, over 5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year in the United States.

This most common type of cancer is largely preventable, and starts with education. Childhood sun exposure and sunburns can cause skin cancer later in life.

Healthy Acadia offers the following sun safety tips:

At home:

  • Keep infants out of the sun.
  • Minimize sun exposure between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Teach your children sun safety habits and remind them frequently.
  • Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds.
  • Cover up. Wear sun-protective clothing, a hat and sunglasses.
  • Apply sunscreen frequently.
  • Be a good role model by practicing sun safety yourself.

Tips for keeping children safe

At school:

  • Work with parent­teacher associations to advocate for sun safety policies and practices such as permitting students to wear hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen when outdoors.
  • Reach out to local businesses, nonprofits, civic and recreation organizations for help with enhancements to school grounds that reduce sun exposure, such as planting trees and designing playgrounds and recreational areas that incorporate shade.
  • Encourage school health and wellness teams to promote sun safety awareness.
  • Connect with community health care providers to provide sun safety education for students, faculty and staff.
  • Recognize students, teachers, and staff for practicing sun safety.
  • Teach students about sun safety and the dangers of UV exposure.
  • Ask parents to provide hats and sunscreen to protect children when they are outdoors for recess, physical education classes, sports, after­school activities or field trips.

Skin cancer is preventable, and when caught early, is highly treatable, stated Healthy Acadia.

For local cancer prevention and treatment resources, call Healthy Acadia’s cancer patient navigators, Angela Fochesato and Marianne Moore, at 255-3741.

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