Canadian parents identify top 3 concerns on sun safety for kids

National Sun Awareness Week June 6 - 12, 2011 - Family sun safety

OTTAWA, June 6, 2011 /CNW/ - Almost all Canadian parents (92%) are concerned about sun protection for their children, a new survey for the Canadian Dermatology Association (CDA) shows.

Parents identified their top three concerns as:

  • lack of shade in playgrounds, parks, playing fields and outdoor pools,
  • sunscreen ingredients,
  • lack of adequate sun protection, including shade, at elementary schools and daycares

The May 16, 2011, Vision Critical survey questioned 800 parents across Canada with kids aged 12 and under.

Other findings include:

  • Half of all Canadian parents (50%) with children 12 years old and under want to see mandatory wearing of hats when outside at schools or daycares in spring and summer, as is the case in Australia.

  • 89% of parents want to see the inclusion of shade in new and renovated public playgrounds, parks, outdoor pools and playing fields.

"Parents are calling for sun safe environments to be created at school, daycares and public areas," says Dr. Cheryl Rosen, national director of the Canadian Dermatology Association's Sun Awareness Program. "Awareness is growing that skin cancer is a highly preventable disease."

Skin cancer remains the most common cancer in Canada with 74,000 new cases expected this year.

Addressing concerns about sunscreen ingredients, she said the risks associated with certain ingredients have not been seen with human use.

"The use of nanoparticles of zinc oxide and titanium oxide in sunscreens has led to concern about the absorption of these particles. At this time, there is no evidence that these products penetrate beyond the outer layers of the skin."

Sunscreens continue to be a safe and effective sun protection method and should be used as part of a sun protection regimen which includes seeking shade, avoiding peak UV hours, and wearing hats and clothing.

To help identify effective sunscreen products, check for the logo of the Canadian Dermatology Association as these have been tested and met criteria such as a minimum SPF 30 for UVB protection, contains broad-spectrum UVA protection, non-irritating, and none or little perfume.

During National Sun Awareness Week, June 6 - 12, 2011, dermatologists will volunteer at free public skin cancer screenings and other events. For more information, please visit

About CDA
The Canadian Dermatology Association, founded in 1925, represents Canadian dermatologists. The association exists to advance the science and art of medicine and surgery related to the health 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 healthy skin, hair and nails.

Canadian Dermatology Association: Backgrounder
2011 Skin cancer stats and Facts

  • The focus of the CDA's 23rd National Sun Awareness Campaign 2011 is family sun safety, emphasizing Safe Fun in the Sun!

  • 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 74,000 new cases of non-melanoma skin cancers (basal and squamous cell) are expected in 2011.

  • 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 (Trends of nonmelanoma 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 (H. Krueger & Associates Inc. The Economic Burden of Skin Cancer in Canada: Current and Projected. 2010. Prepared for the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer).

  • For more on risk factors for skin cancer, see the CDA's Sun Sensitivity Test at

Image with caption: "Good sun protection habits in childhood can significantly reduce the risk of skin cancer later on life. (CNW Group/Canadian Dermatology Association)". Image available at:

SOURCE Canadian Dermatology Association

For further information:

Sue Sherlock, Communications Officer, Sun Awareness Program, Canadian Dermatology Association, (604) 985-9184 or cell (604) 753-9929, email

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