Posts Tagged ‘sunscreen’

Limit the Sun, Not the Fun- Be SunWise!

July 31st, 2013

A recent report by the American Cancer Society, suggests what many Arizonans may have suspected, that skin cancer is on the rise. An estimated 82,770 Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in 2013. In Arizona, one in five of us is likely to develop some form of skin cancer.  The most common cause is overexposure to UV Rays, those invisible rays that come from the sun and tanning lamps and cause sunburns and suntans.  

Protecting skin from sunburn and suntan is key, especially among the under-18 crowd who gets more exposure than adults. The ADHS SunWise Program has been around 10 years, educating kids at over 1100 elementary and middle schools who are required to teach sun safety.   They’re not alone.  Our Offices of Childcare Licensure and Empower Program support the SunWise message.  In fact, all Arizona’s licensed childcare facilities now implement sun safety policies and provide outdoor shaded play area for children under their care.  To learn more about SunWise and Tips to keep yourself safe and prevent skin cancer, visit our SunWise website.

Swim Safe AZ!

May 17th, 2013

National Recreational Water Illness and Injury Prevention Week is coming up next week.  Healthy swimming depends on paying attention to basic health, hygiene, sun-safety, and what swimmers bring into the pool (and what they don’t).  For starters, remind your kids to take a sunscreen, hydration, and bathroom break every hour when swimming.  You might also want to start the summer off right by getting your kids a UV protective swim shirt.  After all…  90% of lifetime sun exposure happens before you’re 20- so you can have a big influence on your kid’s lifetime risk for skin cancer.  And remember- there’s no substitute for adult supervision especially for rookie swimmers. 

Hygiene tips include not swimming when you (or your kids) have diarrhea, reminding your kids not to swallow pool water, and practicing good hygiene (shower before swimming and wash your hands after changing diapers).  And remember- little kids should have a swim diaper…  and always change diapers in the bathroom or diaper-changing areas (not poolside).  You can visit our Waterborne Disease site and a new CDC report about fecal contamination in pools to learn more. 

This year we’ll be holding a healthy swimming video contest to build awareness of safe swimming.  Kids can create a 2-minute healthy swimming video to help educate people about safe swimming including sun safety, staying hydrated while swimming, and preventing the spread of germs at pools, lakes, and water parks. The deadline for submission is June 16th and the website has the complete details and contest rules. The winning video will be used in a statewide water safety campaign. Last year’s winning video is up on YouTube.

“Be SunWise & Play Sun Smart”

June 5th, 2012

The 2012 "Be SunWise and Play Sun Smart" poster-drawing contest winner Aksel Laudon and his teacher Jeffrey GarrettAksel Laudon, a 6th-grade student at Kyrene Centennial Middle School in Phoenix, is this year’s “Be SunWise and Play Sun Smart” poster-drawing contest winner. Aksel’s drawing was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks from more than 7,000 student poster entries.  Aksel and his teacher Jeffrey Garrett, and their families will be celebrated at the June 5 DBacks game in a pre-game award ceremony on the Jumbotron. Aksel’s drawing will be featured as the SunWise Sun Safety Program’s 2012 campaign poster. All 7000+ entrants received a personalized certificate of recognition and there were 50 semifinalists: 50 semi-finalists

Thanks to partners: the DBacks, and Virginia Warren and Lynn Benish in our Health Systems Development shop for the database, personnel, and upcoming printing of 10,000 posters.  Aksel’s drawing will be sent to schools and organizations throughout Arizona.  Also a thanks to Smoke-free Arizona’s Thom Wilson for creating the SunWise operating database. Visit: to learn more about sun safety.

Limit the Sun, Not the Fun

May 27th, 2011

Today is Don’t Fry Day – a day established by the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention to remind people of the importance of sunscreen.  In Arizona, we need more than a day – it is more of a season and now that school’s just about out (or is), kids have more time on their hands for outdoor fun.  The vast majority of a person’s lifetime exposure to the sun occurs by the age of 18- meaning it’s crucial to protect and educate parents and children about common-sense sun safety.  Our SunWise program made YouTube history with its inaugural video contest this year. Junior high and high school students across Arizona were invited to create an original video how to be SunWise when being active outside or making a prom plan not to tan.  Congratulations to 2011 contest winners Anthony Bejarano for his video called When You’re Active Outside, Be SunWise and to Destiny Galindo for her winning video called Make A Prom Plan Not to Tan.

Also, congrats to Joyce Kuang for her winning entry in this year’s poster contest Poster Contest winner. Joyce is a 7th-grade student at Payne Junior High School in Queen Creek. The Arizona Diamondbacks selected her poster from among 6900 entries.  Joyce and teacher Eric Nedow will be celebrated at the Arizona Diamondbacks game on June 15 at Chase Field. Joyce and Mr. Nedow will receive on-field awards, appear on the jumbotron screen, and Joyce’s drawing will be the official SunWise campaign poster for 2011-2012 school year. Congratulations to everyone who entered and to all of this year’s 2011 SunWise Poster Contest Semifinalists.

We hope you enjoy the winning entries as much we do! Learn more about how to protect yourself and family in the sun at

Limit the Sun, Not the Fun

June 8th, 2010

School is out & the UV index will be over 10 for the next couple of months, meaning that it’s sun safety season.  Since the majority of a person’s lifetime exposure to the sun occurs by the age of 18, it’s crucial to protect and educate parents and children about the simple steps to take to limit sun exposure.   With little more than a good idea and some pocket change from the preventive health block grant, we created the Arizona SunWise School Program in 2003.  In August 2005, Arizona became the first state to mandate sun safety education by requiring that all K-8 public and charter schools teach the SunWise Sun Safety School Program.

The SunWise Program shows kids & teachers simple steps they can take to protect themselves from overexposure to the sun. Children also develop an understanding of the environmental concepts related to sun safety.  Students demonstrate the ability to practice health-enhancing behaviors and reduce health risks at an early age. These good sun safety habits can last a lifetime.  Also, here’s a link to common-sense Skin Cancer Prevention materials from the CDC for families and summer schools.  You can also tell someone how to protect their skin from the sun with CDC’s Skin Cancer electronic greeting card.

The SunWise program works with the Arizona Diamondbacks every year on a Sun Safety Poster – the winner was announced at last night’s Diamondbacks game – check it out on our Facebook page.

Also, a new study this week found that frequently using indoor tanning studios increased melanoma (skin cancer) risk no matter when the person started to go to indoor tanning salons.  Elevated risks were found with all different kinds of tanning beds.  You can see the Full Text (PDF) of the article on-line.

Into the Inferno

May 19th, 2010

It’s not just the Phoenix Suns that are hot; your backyard will be one of the hottest places on the globe for the next 4 months.  The heat on the desert floor isn’t just a nuisance, it’s expensive & lethal.  Do you know what to do to protect yourself and your family?  Do you follow through?

Year in and year out, nearly 1,400 Arizonans get a heat related illnesses so serious that they end up in an emergency department and hundreds of them are so ill that they end up being admitted to the hospital.  In 2008, the average per-person hospital treatment cost for heat related illnesses in Arizona was about $7,500, leading to a whopping $11,000,000 dollars in treatment costs in 2008. And that’s not all.  On average, between 30 and 80 Arizona residents die from heat related illnesses every summer.  More than 70% of these hospitalizations and deaths are males.

The good news is that preventing heat related illness is easy to do if you just use common sense.  You can learn how to Protect yourself from heat with some resources on our website including our a Heat Brochure [252k PDF] and our Heat Emergency Response Plan [135K PDF] .

New Heat Study

May 18th, 2010

In March 2004, our Vital Statistics team produced a special report that examined deaths from exposure to heat in Arizona between 1992-2002.  The report attracted a wide audience well beyond Arizona’s borders. It provided about deaths from heat exposure and analyzed heat mortality occurring in the State to both residents and non-residents (e.g. migrants crossing the desert).

We’ve just completed an update of the original report and it’s sure to get a lot of attention.  The new report Deaths from Exposure to Excessive Natural Heat Occurring in Arizona, 1992-2009 updates and expands the original report, and includes information about when and where people die from heat exposure.

From 1992 to 2009, 1,485 people died from exposure to heat in Arizona.  Undocumented persons crossing Arizona’s border with Mexico accounted for 666 of the deaths, with the vast majority (464) occurring in the eight years between 2000 and 2007.  Meanwhile, there were 646 deaths from hyperthermia among Arizona residents or 36 deaths on average per year in 1992-2009.

I won’t go into the details of the findings here, but if you’re interested in the subject, you should definitely take a look at the report, including the appendices.  Also, if you work with Stakeholder groups that conduct public health or safety activities you should forward the link so they can use these data for their intervention work.