NEEF Presents Activities to Help Parents, Teachers and Camp Counselors Make Sun Safety Fun
As the upcoming holiday weekend ushers in the summer season, the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) is joining the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention to promote Don’t Fry Day, a national effort to encourage sun safety awareness. NEEF is marking the day—which falls on the Friday before Memorial Day—by releasing its updated SunWise® sun safety tool kit. The free online tool kit aims to teach children in grades K through 8 about sun safety.
“Memorial Day weekend kicks off an entire season of fun outdoor activities,” says NEEF president Meri-Margaret Deoudes. “But no matter what you have planned, don’t forget the sunscreen.”
Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon. While individuals with lighter-toned skin are more susceptible to UV damage, people of all races and ethnicities can be at risk for skin cancer. As NEEF encourages people to explore the outdoors, ensuring they do so safely—by wearing sunglasses and proper clothing and shoes, adhering to posted regulations, staying hydrated, seeking shade, and wearing plenty of sunscreen—is an important part of helping people have a positive experience.
“Whether you’re playing in the backyard, exploring a park, or heading to the beach, summer is an ideal time to connect with and enjoy nature where you live,” explains Deoudes. “SunWise gives youth and their caregivers the information they need to protect their health while exploring the great outdoors.”
Sun safety is particularly important for children, as unprotected exposure to the sun during youth can lead to an increased lifetime risk for skin cancer. Educators, camp counselors, health departments, and coaches can play a major role in protecting children by teaching and modeling sun safety behaviors. From spotting the many ways animals protect themselves from the elements to identifying both the helpful and harmful effects of the sun, SunWise features a variety of standards-based lesson plans, games and activities, and other ideas for helping kids of all ages play it smart in the sun.
NEEF recently updated the SunWise tool kit with support from Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. Download a free copy here.
NEEF offers practical information about how to be good environmental stewards and why it is important for each one of us to step up and make a difference in ways that work best for us and work within our busy lives. NEEF’s vision is that by 2022, 300 million Americans will actively use environmental knowledge to ensure the wellbeing of the earth and its people. To learn more, please visit NEEFUSA.org.
Don’t Fry Day is a public awareness campaign that aims to reduce the number of new skin cancer diagnoses by promoting sun safety and encouraging people to protect their skin while enjoying the outdoors. Learn more at https://www.skincancerprevention.org/programs/dont-fry-day\.