School’s out and the sun’s out, too, so it is time to teach kids about sun safety, particularly as June 2-8 is National Sun Safety Week. With children playing in the backyard, at the park, or in the pool or at the beach, it is important for parents to be aware of sun safety and for kids to be responsible for their own well-being when it comes to the sun.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has two great resources as part of their SunWise program. The Mission: Sunwise Activity Book 2013 is an educational, hands-on way for kids to learn about sun safety, and the companion website – SunWise – provides parents, teachers, and babysitters with additional resources for teaching children about the harmful effects of the sun.
Fulfill the Mission to Get “Sunwise”
The Mission: SunWise Activity Book 2013 targets children in kindergarten through 8th grade and takes a more thorough approach to sun safety. Children learn about the ozone layer, ultraviolet rays, the UV Index, thermometers and preventative actions to protect themselves from the harmful effects of the sun.
There are more than a dozen activities including drawing and coloring, matching, word scrambles and fill in the blanks to engage children in sun safety lessons. The activity book doesn’t just tell kids to wear sun screen and play in the shade, but explains what causes sunburns and why it is important to be “sunwise.” [Says GovBookTalk Editor Michele Bartram: “My favorite page is the “Slip, Slop, Slap, Wrap, Check, Play” page!”]
Parent and Teacher Sun Safety Resources
The EPA’s Sunwise sun safety website, http://www2.epa.gov/sunwise, has endless resources for adults and children. Teachers can download suggested lesson plans with PowerPoint presentations and sign-up for the SunWise Program to receive free toolkits that have age appropriate content and activities for their classrooms. Children can play interactive sun safety games, take quizzes and become “Sun Safety Certified.”
Together, adults and children can learn about the UV Index scale and the suggested precautions that go with each category and the health effects of overexposure to UV rays. It even has Skin Cancer Fact Sheets by state showing the skin cancer rates and Action Steps for Sun Safety.
The website’s content is well-organized and can be translated into Spanish to reach a greater audience.
Another useful site is from the not-for-profit Sun Safety Alliance, (también en español) which offers its “Block the Sun, Not the Fun” program in addition to sponsoring National Sun Safety Week.
The website includes resources for Educators, including this Teacher’s Guide; Healthcare Professionals; Parents and Early Childcare personnel; and a Kids site. It also has activities for children from infants and toddlers, pre-school age, and kindergarten to 2nd grade, to grades 3 to 5, middle school,and all the way through high school.
Image: From a video on the Sun Safety Alliance home page, showing the effects of skin cancer on a former suntan addict. She says, “I wish I knew then what I can see now!”
It is not fun to avoid the sun and sit inside all summer. So be proactive and start the summer out right by taking preventative actions to avoid sunburns. Keep in mind that there is more to sun safety than just putting on sun screen.
HOW DO I OBTAIN the “Mission: SunWise Activity Book 2013”?
- Buy it online 24/7 on GPO’s U.S. Government Bookstore.
- Buy it at GPO’s main retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday-Friday, 9am to 4pm, except Federal holidays, (202) 512-0132.
- Find it in a a federal depository library.
About the Authors: Our guest blogger is Emma Wojtowicz, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Office of Public Affairs. Additional content was provided by Government Book Talk Editor Michele Bartram, Promotions Manager for GPO’s Publication and Information Sales Division.