FULTON - Did you know that the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage skin in as little as 15 minutes?
Well it can, and does, every time skin is exposed to the sun without protection. That’s just one of the sun safety facts that children at Little Lamb Daycare in New Haven learned when they were treated to a presentation on sun safety.
Christina Wallace, program specialist with the Cancer Prevention in Action (CPiA) program, recently visited Little Lamb Daycare where she conducted a number of sun safety experiments to educate the children about what the sun can do to unprotected skin and how to protect themselves against the harmful effects of the sun’s rays whenever outdoors.
Since the inception of CPiA, Oswego County Opportunities (OCO) has partnered with a number of organizations and municipalities to establish sun safety policies to protect community members.
“When we began exploring the idea of working with daycares in Oswego County to promote sun safety I asked some friends if they knew of any New York state certified and registered daycare providers,” explained Wallace. “A friend of mine whose daughter attends Little Lamb Daycare thought that owner Tracy Lamb would be interested. When I spoke with Tracy she was very receptive and invited me to visit her daycare.”
“When we met we discussed the benefits of having a sun safety policy and then created one that highlights the most effective ways to protect yourself against sun’s UV rays. Proper protection can prevent painful sunburns and helps avoid the development of skin cancer in the future,” continued Wallace. “Children of all ages are susceptible to getting a sunburn if they are not protected properly. The risk for skin cancer can be greatly reduced when certain precautions are practiced.”
As part of its sun safety policy Little Lamb Daycare will provide sufficient areas of shade for outdoor play; monitor the heat index and schedule outdoor activities accordingly; keep infants younger than six months of age out of direct sunlight; limit sun exposure between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.; encourage children and their guardians to apply broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen; and wear wide brimmed hats, protective clothing and protective sunglasses. Additionally, sun safety education will be provided to new and existing parents and guardians.
“We appreciate Christina coming out and explaining the importance of sun safety,” said Lamb. “The children had so much fun learning through coloring books and answering questions. They also loved the free sunglasses they received courtesy of CPiA to help protect them on sunny days.”
OCO is a subcontractor of the St. Lawrence Health Initiative to deliver Cancer Prevention in Action messages locally in Oswego County. To learn more about CPiA, visit takeactionagainstcancer.com.
CPiA is supported by funds from the state of New York.
For more information on OCO visit oco.org.