Children's Poster Contest Promotes Sun Safety Awareness

Calling all artists! Did you know too much sun can lead to skin cancer, immune system suppression, cataracts and other types of eye damage? Students can help raise awareness about sun safety and win prizes by entering the 2009 SunWise with SHADE poster contest. More than 65,000 students have helped spread the message of sun safety by participating in this annual contest since its creation in 2003.

More people will be diagnosed with skin cancer this year than breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancer combined. Sun protection is especially important for children because unprotected exposure in childhood increases the chances of developing the most dangerous forms of skin cancer and melanoma. One in 58 children born in 2008 will develop melanoma during their lifetime--almost 20 times higher than for people born in 1930.

Students in grades K-8 can submit hand-drawn posters by April 13 with an attached official entry form found at www.shadefoundation.org/index.php/programs/2009-poster-contest. Entries should be original, creative, show ways to prevent skin cancer, and raise sun safety awareness.

This annual contest is a joint effort by the SHADE Foundation of America, WeatherBug Schools, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's SunWise Program to teach children ways to protect their skin. Voting for the national winner will begin in late April, and the national winner will be announced on the first-ever (and henceforth annual) National Sun Safety Day ("Don't Fry Day")--May 22. Winning posters will receive state and national prizes, with the top national winner receiving a family trip to Disney World and a WeatherBug Tracking Station for his/her school (courtesy of WeatherBug Schools, SHADE Foundation of America, and Walt Disney World Resort).

EPA’s SunWise Program is an environmental and health education program that uses classroom and community tools to teach children and their caregivers how to protect themselves from too much sun. For more information about SunWise and the 2009 poster contest, visit www.epa.gov/sunwise.

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