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Sun-Safety Efforts Protect Kids, Win EPA Awards

Release Date: 06/09/2004
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John Millett, 202-564-7842 /

(06/09/04) Ten schools and organizations won EPA recognition this week for protecting children from the damaging effects of overexposure to the sun. The winners teach and promote sun-safe behaviors to prevent skin cancer, cataracts, and other adverse health effects. In the United States, one person dies every hour from melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. This disease is largely preventable with proper sun protection. EPA’s SunWise Program encourages K-8 schools, science and children’s museums, and other organizations to educate children and their caregivers about sun protection. Organizations received awards in two different categories. The Shade Foundation, Phoenix, Ariz. and Boston, Mass.; The Arizona Department of Health Services, Phoenix, Ariz.; and Bonita Springs Elementary School, Bonita Springs, Fla. won the 2004 “Helios Award,” which recognizes schools and other organizations for their work in changing school policy, involving parents and the community, erecting shade structures on school playgrounds, allowing sunscreen to be worn in school and providing sun-safety information to the community. The Center for Creative Learning, Ellisville, Mo.; Massabesic Junior High School, Waterboro, Maine; Colette Coyne Melanoma Awareness Campaign, New Hyde Park, N.Y.; The Swain School, Allentown, Pa.; Holy Cross Lutheran School, Dallas, Texas; WDIV-TV, Detroit, Mich.; and the Peggy Notebaert Nature Center, Chicago, Ill. won the 2004 “Shining Star Award.” This award recognizes educators and other proponents of children’s health issues who are implementing SunWise in an exemplary way; by reaching a large number of students, reporting UV Index data to EPA’s Web site, sponsoring poster contests, or developing sun-safety curriculum. For more information about the SunWise program and tips on sun safety, visit: .