High UV index every summer indicates need to teach children sun safety

National Sun Awareness Week: June 4 to 10, 2012 - Sunscreens: remembering to use them properly

OTTAWA, June 4, 2012 /CNW/ - The Canadian Dermatology Association (CDA) wants to make sure the proper use of sunscreen is front of mind this summer. Often Canadians don't use sunscreen at all or forget to apply it to all exposed areas, like the back of the neck and the ears. They may forget to reapply the sunscreen after swimming or heavy exertion. For these reasons, many Canadians end up with painful sunburns.

In an attempt to appeal to young children and their parents, CDA created a video to get them thinking about sun safety and give them a sign of when to apply, and reapply, sunscreen. The Play safe in the sun video follows little Sophie as she spends the day playing outside with her dog Felix and her friend Max.

"It's important to reapply your sunscreen after swimming, and vigorous activity that makes us sweat," says Dr Cheryl Rosen, National Director of the CDA Sun Awareness Program, "and that's exactly what Sophie shows us."

Sunscreen continues to be a safe and effective sun protection method and should be used as part of an everyday sun protection routine that includes seeking shade, choosing to do outdoor activities while avoiding peak UV hours, and wearing hats and clothing. It is also helpful to teach children the sunshine rhyme: "If my shadow is short, I stay out of the sun. If my shadow is long, I can go out and have fun!"

Environment Canada is predicting midday UV index values for this summer ranging from moderate (3-5) to very high (8-9) across Canada, so proper sun protection is a must. "Whenever the UV index is higher than three we should be especially careful with sun protection. In addition, water and concrete can reflect UV radiation, adding to our exposure," says Dr Rosen.

To help identify effective sunscreen products, look for the logo of the Canadian Dermatology Association as these products have been tested and have met the evaluation criteria of the CDA's Sun Protection Program. These sunscreens have a minimum SPF 30, are broad-spectrum (protecting against UVA as well as UVB radiation), and are non-comedogenic, non-irritating, hypoallergenic, and minimally or non-perfumed.

About Sun Awareness Week
The Canadian Dermatology Association has organized a nationwide Sun Awareness Week since 1989. The purpose of the annual campaign is to increase the awareness of Canadians about the harmful effects of UV radiation and the ways to protect the skin from UV exposure, in order to decrease the incidence of skin cancer in Canada. During National Sun Awareness Week, June 4 - 10, 2012, dermatologists will volunteer at free public skin cancer screenings and other events. For more information, please visit www.dermatology.ca.

About CDA
The Canadian Dermatology Association, founded in 1925, represents Canadian dermatologists. The association strives to provide easy access to the largest, most reliable source of medical knowledge on dermatology. CDA exists to advance the science and art of medicine and surgery related to the care of the skin, hair and nails; provide continuing professional development for its members; support and advance patient care; provide public education on sun protection and other aspects of skin health; and promote a lifetime of healthier skin, hair and nails. By doing so, CDA informs and empowers both medical professionals and the Canadian public.

To learn more about what the work CDA does visit www.dermatology.ca or join the conversation on www.Twitter.com/CdnDermatology or www.Facebook.com/CdnDermatology.

Canadian Dermatology Association: Backgrounder
2012 Skin Cancer Stats and Facts

  • The focus of the CDA's 24th National Sun Awareness Campaign 2012 is the application and reapplication of sunscreen, emphasizing playing safe in the sun.
  • CDA has launched a National Video Competition, Sun. Camera. Action! inviting teens to create sun savvy videos for the chance to win prizes. The winning videos may also be featured in one of CDA's national campaigns. Details www.facebook.com/CdnDermatology
  • Skin cancer is one of a small number of cancers that is highly preventable through simple measures such as limiting sun exposure, seeking shade, wearing hats and clothing, and using an SPF 30 or higher, broad spectrum sunscreen.
  • Skin cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Canadians. More than 81,300 new cases of non-melanoma skin cancers (basal and squamous cell) are expected in 2012.
    • Source: Canadian Cancer Statistics 2012
  • Estimates are that there will be 5,800 new cases of melanoma diagnosed this year and will cause 970 deaths.
    • Source: Canadian Cancer Statistics 2012
  • The lifetime risk of skin cancer for Canadians born in the 1990's is 1 in 6. For those born in the 1960's, it is 1 in 20.
    • Source: Trends of non-melanoma skin cancer from 1960 through 2000 in a Canadian population, JAAD, August 2005, Vol 53.
  • The estimated cost of treating skin cancer is predicted to almost double from $532 million in 2004 to $921 million in 2031.
    • Source: H. Krueger & Associates Inc. The Economic Burden of Skin Cancer in Canada: Current and Projected. 2010. Prepared for the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer.

SOURCE Canadian Dermatology Association

For further information:

Jennifer Scott, Communications & Projects Officer
Office: 613.738.1748 / 1.800.267.3376 Ext. 222 | Mobile: 613.447.8611 | Email: jscott@dermatology.ca

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