May 26, 2008
Media Release

Plant trees, build shade: for your health and the environment

Celebrate Sun Awareness Week May 26th to June 1st
NEWMARKET The York Region SunSense Coalition encourages residents to celebrate National Sun Awareness Week by planting a tree.
Planting trees have many health and environmental benefits.  Trees help clean the air, conserve energy, reduce summer heat and help provide protection from the sun to help prevent skin cancer.
It is estimated that one in seven Canadians will develop skin cancer during their lifetime. It is most important to protect children from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
York Region public health, The Canadian Cancer Society and the Canadian Dermatology Association all identify the use of shade as a key strategy to reduce the risk of developing skin cancer.
During National Sun Awareness Week, the York Region Sunsense Coalition is launching a public education campaign aimed to increase the awareness about the importance of shade. 
York Region Transit (YRT) advertisements and planned local media opportunities will encourage residents to visit and learn more about:
 Conducting a shade audit of their own backyard, or any other place that their families play outdoors
 Making an effective shade plan
 Developing a shade policy in a public location (daycare, park, playground, school, etc.)
In addition to creating shade, the Canadian Cancer Society also recommends the following sun sense guidelines:
1. Reduce sun exposure between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the ultraviolet (UV) Index is 3 or more
2. Wear light-weight clothing that covers your arms and legs
3. Wear a wide-brimmed hat (3 inches) and sunglasses with wrap-around frames and even shading
4. Apply sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher
5. Keep babies under one year of age out of direct sunlight
6. Avoid the use of tanning beds and lamps
The York Region SunSense Coalition consists of members from the community, the Canadian Cancer Society and the Regional Municipality of York.
National Sun Awareness Week is celebrated annually during the last week in May, and encourages Canadians to practice sun safety and help prevent skin cancer.
For more information on this or any other health-related topic, please contact York Region Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653.
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Media Contact: Jennifer Mitchell-Emmerson, Community and Health Services,, York Region
 Phone:  905 830-4444, ext. 4016 or After-hours Cell: 905 716-2717

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