Boston Harbor Island's SunAWARE Project

Building upon our partnership with US SAILING we expanded our local efforts to include a partnership with the Department of Conservation and Greenway AllRecreation (DCR), Boston Harbor Now, and the National Park Service. The Boston Harbor Island’s SunAWARE Project includes training of permanent and seasonal staff, and six on-site educational programs for visitors that included the distribution of a program bookmark and Neutrogena sunscreen. The staff evaluations included comments suggesting that they were applying more sunscreen than they had previously, reapplying sunscreen more frequently, and now consider it part of their “Personal Protective Equipment.”

In addition to the adult program, we trained Discovery Camp Administrators and provided resources, free-of-charge, for their counselors to use with the hundreds of Summer campers that visit the Islands.

Perkins School for the Blind partnered with us by providing two Summer Interns who provided information and sunscreen to visitors on Spectacle Island daily for six weeks. Together, we reached thousands of staff, campers, and visitors to the Boston Harbor Islands. We hope that this will be an annual joint educational venture.

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US SAILING

SunAWARE at SEA

ussailingChildren's Melanoma Prevention Foundation has joined forces with US SAILING to promote sun protection education for sailors by providing classes for sailors and instructors, SunAWARE resources and a feature article in  a member publication.

Foundation members have provided a quarterly article for OptiNews, a US Sailing bublication for families, for many years.  They also  taught at the National Sailing Program Symposium in Clearwater, Florida. and at Anapolis, Maryland.  The foundation's objective was to raise awareness about the heightened risk of skin cancer for boaters and introduce SunAWARE lessons. This program was tailored to meet the needs of the US SAILING community to provide instruction in sun safety to its junior sailors.  SunAWARE at SEA was launched on Don't Fry Day, an annual national event sponsored by the National Council for Skin Cancer Prevention. Don't Fry Day is held on the Friday before Memorial Day with the participation of member organizations nationally. Each summer, we provide SunAWARE Programs for life guards, sailing instructors, and staff. 

In addition, the Children's Melanoma Prevention Foundation has created special materials for the event including a Don't Fry Day educational infoflier and a children's book entitled, Danger at Graves Light.DangerAtGravesLight The book has been endorsed by US SAILING and features a personal introduction by Susan Epstein, US SAILING Director. Since traditionally junior sailing programs begin in June a special SunAWARE at Sea flier has been created for use by recreational boating centers throughout the season. Foundation staff are available to teach at sailing centers throughout New England during the sailing season. We write a feature article on sun safety for the OptiNews magazine including articles on the SunAWARE acronym, eye health, sun protection clothing, Don't Fry Day, skin classifications, etc.  The articles have been well received by sailors nationally.. 

The SunAWARE at Sea Program provides sailors with five easy action steps for prevention and early detection of skin cancer. These steps are based on scientifically proven methods known to prevent skin cancer and to promote early detection.

SunAWARE Action Steps

Avoid unprotected exposure to sunlight, seek shade, and never indoor tan.

Wear sun protective clothing, including a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses year-round.

Apply recommended amounts of broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sunburn protection factor (SPF) ≥ 30 to all exposed skin and reapply every two hours, or as needed.

Routinely examine your whole body for changes in your skin and report suspicious changes to a parent or healthcare provider.

Educate your family and community about the need to be SunAWARE.

"Every junior sailor knows that they have to be able to swim, wear a personal floatation device, and stay calm in an emergency. However, what they don't know is how to prevent skin cancer. I have been a life-long sailor and I have seen first-hand the impact of the sun, having lost a close friend to melanoma.

My fervent hope is that all sailors and boaters, especially juniors, will embrace the steps in SunAWARE and practice them on a daily basis, both on and off the water." (Susan Epstein, US SAILING)

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