Dear CHVE Families,
I was saddened to share in a letter to the community this week that a CHVE parent, Michael Regan, passed away after a long and courageous battle with cancer. With love and remembrance, I dedicate this newsletter to melanoma awareness and prevention. Colorado ranks among the world’s highest in newly diagnosed cases of skin cancer, behind Australia and Arizona. We need to be aware of the risk factors and preventative measures associated with melanoma.
The main melanoma risk factor is UV light radiation, which damages the skin cells by the electromagnetic radiation. This, in effect, damages the DNA and prevents the cells from healing themselves. Melanoma is one of the most commonly found cancers in persons under 30 years old. A Scandinavian study found that women who visit a tanning salon more than once a month are 55% more likely to develop melanoma and this risk doubles for women in their 20s. Children receive 80% of lifetime sun exposure by age 18. Unfortunately, the rates for preventative measures such as sun protection drop off considerably by age 10, and continue to drop throughout adolescence. Only 10% of adults use sunscreen regularly. We can improve our sun safety practices!
The American Cancer Society has adopted this simple melanoma prevention message created in Australia: Slip! Slop! Slap! Wrap!
SLIP on a shirt. Clothing is one the most effective protections against UV radiation. Keep the following tips in mind:
- Long-sleeved shirts and long pants offer the best protection.
- A tight weave, such as the cotton knit of a t-shirt, offers more protection than a loose weave. For a rough idea of a fabric's ability to block UV rays, hold it up to the light. Fabrics that allow more light to come through will probably let more UV radiation through as well.
- Dark colors are more absorbent and less reflective than light colors, and so offer better protection.
- Dry clothing is more protective than wet.
SLOP on sunscreen. Sunscreens absorb, reflect, or scatter most – but not all – UV rays before they can penetrate the skin. Look for sunscreens with the following features:
- Broad-spectrum protection. Broad-spectrum sunscreens protect against both UVA and UVB radiation.
- A sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. SPF measures how long a product protects the skin from UVB rays before it starts to burn, compared to how long it takes to burn without protection. If you start to burn in 10 minutes without protection, using an SPF 15 sunscreen theoretically will prevent you from burning 15 times longer – about 2 1/2 hours. An SPF of 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays. SPFs of 30 and higher block 97% of UVB rays and are suggested for people who are sun-sensitive, have skin cancer, or are at a high risk for developing skin cancer.
- A "waterproof" feature, if you will be sweating or swimming.
- A valid expiration date. Sunscreen without an expiration date has a shelf life of no more than three years. Some sunscreen ingredients can degrade and lose their effectiveness over time, particularly when exposed to extreme temperatures.
SLAP on a hat. For the most protection, wear a hat with a brim wide enough to shade your face, ears, and the back of your neck.
· Look for hats made of tightly woven fabrics, such as canvas. Avoid loose weaves, particularly straw hats with holes that allow sunlight through.
· If you prefer to wear a baseball cap, make sure to protect your ears and the back of your neck. Wear clothing that covers those areas, use sunscreen with at least SPF 15, or stay in the shade.
WRAP on sunglasses. Sunglasses protect your eyes, your eyelids, and the delicate skin around your eyes from UV rays. They also reduce the risk of cataracts.
· The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) requires that sunglasses block a minimum of 50% of UVA and 70% of UVB rays. Glasses labeled "meets ANSI requirements" or "UV absorption up to 400 nm" provide 99 to 100% protection from UVA and UVB rays. Glasses labeled "cosmetic" block 70%. Avoid buying sunglasses that carry no label.
- Darker sunglasses or polarized lenses don't necessarily offer more UV protection. UV protection is provided by a chemical that makes up part of the invisible coating on the lenses, regardless of how dark they are.
- Wraparound sunglasses prevent UV rays from entering your eyes from the sides.
- Don't buy "toy sunglasses" for your children. Look for the same UV protection in children's sunglasses as you would in adult glasses
I encourage you to talk with your children about these safety precautions.
For more information, visit www.melanomacenter.org
EXCITING STAFF NEWS: I'm thrilled to announce, second grade teacher, Kelli Feltz is pregnant!!! Baby Feltz is due mid-March! We are extremely fortunate to have a wonderful teacher who will take over during Mrs. Feltz’s maternity leave. Her name is Christine Kelly. Christine received her elementary degree from Western Sate Colorado University. Christine is a fabulous teacher and already works at CHVE!
Current “YIPPEE-YAHOO-YOU SPLASH” sentiments go to:
· Run 4 Funds volunteers, especially Becky Mackintosh, Karen Robinson, Anne Zurcher and Sarah Possehl. What a tremendous success!
· The Red Ribbon Week team, Sara Talbert, Cheryl Schaden, Katie Feiman and Whitney Groth. WOW, you inspired great participation!
· Thanks to all our class dinner hosts and coordinators.
· Laura Shipman for all her hard work in providing Dolphin Duds spirit wear.
· Alli Wozniak, new Before and After Care Director, for providing such fun and engaging activities for CHVE kids.
Together in education,