June 1, 2005

2005 Sun Smart Poster Contest award ceremony Celebrate Sun Awareness Week

NEWMARKET - Recently, the York Region SunSense Coalition hosted a Sun Smart Poster Contest throughout the month of March. A total of 268 grade one students from 26 classes across York Region submitted their posters to the contest. Participating students and their families also made a promise to practise sun safety. The goal of the poster contest was to educate students and their families about sun safety … and to actually take sun safety precautions. 
The winner of the Sun Smart Poster Contest was a grade one student from Mount Albert Public School in East Gwillimbury.  The winning student will be awarded a tree to be planted on the school grounds during Sun Awareness Week.
WHEN: Friday, June 3, 2005
9:30 a.m.
WHERE: Mount Albert Public School
  5488 Mount Albert Road
  Mount Albert
The results from Canada’s first national survey on sun exposure and protective behaviours show that over 50 percent of Canadians do not adequately protect themselves from the sun, despite that 80 percent of those surveyed know when and how they should protect themselves.
Sun Awareness Week 2005 runs from May 30 to June 5, 2005 and is organized by the Canadian Dermatology Association.  The Canadian Dermatology Association encourages Canadians to practise sun safety for the prevention of skin cancer. Anyone born today has a 1 in 7 risk of developing skin cancer during their lifetime. The good news is that skin cancer can be prevented.  Sun Awareness Week reminds us to follow Sunsense guidelines as developed by the Canadian Cancer Society:
• try and reduce sun exposure between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.  The sun’s rays are strongest at this time.  If you can, plan you outdoor activities before or after these hours.
• seek shade or create your own.  When outside, try to stay in the shade. Take an umbrella to create shade wherever you need it.
• wear long sleeve shirts, pants, broad-brimmed hats and UV blocking sunglasses.  Choose clothing that is loose fitting, tightly woven and light weight.
 (2005 Sun Smart Poster Contest award ceremony continued)
• cover all exposed skin with sunscreen of SPF #15 or higher.  Look for “broad spectrum” on the label, which means that the sunscreen offers protection against two types of ultraviolet rays, UV-A and UV-B.  Apply sunscreen generously, if possible 20 minutes before outdoor activities.  Reapply at least every two hours, and after swimming or exercise that makes you sweat.
• keep babies under one year out of the direct sun.  Babies need extra protection because of their sensitive skin.  Keep your child’s stroller, playpen or carriage in the shade.
• avoid the use of tanning beds and sun lamps.  Just like the sun, these emit ultraviolet rays that can cause sunburn, aging skin and increase your risk of skin cancer.
The York Region SunSense Coalition is comprised of members from York Region Health Services, Canadian Cancer Society, York Region Transportation and Works (Natural Heritage and Forestry Services), the Town of Newmarket (Public Works and Environmental Services) and community members.
For more information or for resources on sun safety, cancer prevention or other health related topics call York Region Health Services Health Connection at 1 800 361 5653 or visit www.york.ca.
Media attending the event at Mount Albert Public School are requested to report first to the school office.
Contact:   Rajesh Khetarpal, York Region Health Services
(905) 830-4444 or 1-877-464-9675, ext. 4063

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