Skin cancer awareness
There is which shows a worrisome lack of awareness among Canadian men concerning sun safety. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer but it’s also one of the most preventable. Here are the Canadian Cancer Society’s recommendations on the 6 best ways to be sun safe:
- Check the UV Index every day On days when the UV Index reaches 3 (moderate) or more, you need to be extra careful to protect your skin. Try to reduce your time in the sun between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. – when the sun’s rays are at their strongest – or any time of the day when the UV Index is 3 or more.
- Seek shade If your shadow is shorter than you, find some shade because this means the sun’s rays are at their strongest. If you can see the sky from your shady spot, you still need to cover up. UV rays can reach you in the shade by reflecting off the surfaces around you.
- Cover up Did you know that clothes protect you better than sunscreen? Cover up as much of your skin as you can with clothing that is made from tightly woven fabric. Or look for clothing that is labelled with a UPF (UV protection factor). Wear a wide-brimmed hat that covers your head, face, ears and neck.
- Wear sunglasses Make sure you choose close-fitting sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection in a wraparound style. The label might have UV 400 or 100% UV protection.
- Use sunscreen properly Sunscreen absorbs UV rays and prevents them from penetrating the skin. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. It’s important to apply a generous amount of sunscreen to any skin not covered by clothing. If you’re going in the water, make sure your sunscreen is also water-resistant. Remember, use sunscreen along with shade, clothing and hats, not instead of them.In the CDA’s public opinion research, only ¼ of respondents strongly agreed that sunscreen is safe to use. Health Canada regulates the safety, effectiveness, and quality of sunscreens in Canada. Sunscreen products are classified as drugs and must meet the requirements in Canada’s Food and Drugs Act before they may be imported, advertised, or sold in this country. The CDA also published a position statement highlighting that sunscreen remains a safe, effective form of sun protection. If you have more questions about the safety of sunscreen, please visit the article “Can the chemicals in sunscreen cause cancer?” by the Canadian Cancer Society.
- Don’t use indoor tanning beds There’s no safe way to get a tan. Tanned skin is damaged skin.
National Health and Fitness Day: The first Saturday in June.
Many towns across our region proclaim the day and mark it with local events. Hundreds of communities in Canada have already proclaimed, and the National Health and Fitness Day Act, Bill S-211, became law in December 2014. Click here to get ideas/tools and see how your community can get involved. Just change the template information and you will have your own set of tools to spread the word. https://www.nhfdcan.ca/community-toolkit
Might you be interested in contacting your Mayor and/or Councilors to ask if they would consider proclaiming the day? There’s a great Citizen’s package with already drafted letters, just fill and print with your community info: https://www.nhfdcan.ca/social-media-tool-kit. Here’s a list of communities who have already proclaimed: https://www.nhfdcan.ca/communities-1