Just in Time for Don’t Fry Day

posterEleven-year-old Sueda has recess with her classmates on a playground without any trees. This sixth grader from New Mexico knows how important it is to be safe in the sun. She recently earned her school a shade structure from the SHADE Foundation by winning the national 2012 SunWise with SHADE Poster Contest www.epa.gov/sunwise/postercontest.html. Now Sueda and her classmates at the Albuquerque School of Excellence can stay shaded when they play outside.

In Sueda’s winning poster, two cactus characters offer their sunburned cactus friend some sun protection advice in the form of hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Meanwhile, a chameleon seeks shade under a leaf. Sueda was one of 12,000 participating students from 48 states, the District of Columbia, and the Northern Mariana Islands.  The poster contest is an annual event; submissions are due every year by April 1. The poster contest educates thousands of students each year about how to be SunWise.

May 25th is Don’t Fry Day www.epa.gov/sunwise/dfd.html, and Sueda’s cactus characters are the perfect reminder of what this day is all about: when outdoors, you need to Slip, Slop, Slap, Wrap, and Seek Shade to protect yourself from too much sun exposure. Slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen, slap on a hat, wrap on sunglasses, and seek shade between 10am and 4pm. School may be over soon but the need to stay safe under the sun continues. How can you be safe in the sun this summer?

About the author: Julie Kunrath is an ASPH Fellow hosted by the SunWise program in the Office of Air and Radiation in DC.

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