With warm, sunny weather outside, no one wants to find themselves cooped up indoors, especially children. But heading outdoors without adequate sun protection can lead to a sunburn that lingers long after the outdoor fun has ended. Sunburns are known to have a cumulative effect and can lead to future skin cancers including melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
To help make it safer to have fun outdoors, applications for the American Academy of Dermatology’s shade structure grants are now available for schools, park districts, religious institutions or other organizations in need of shade for outdoor locations.
“The incidence of skin cancer continues to rise. In fact, there was a 10 percent increase in new cases of melanoma within the past year,” said dermatologist Clay J. Cockerell, M.D., president of the American Academy of Dermatology. “Dermatologists also are seeing younger and younger patients with skin cancer, making it more important than ever to protect young people from the dangerous rays of the sun.”
This year, the Academy will award seven grants to community-based, non-profit organizations in need of shade for an outdoor location. These outdoor locations can include any area where children and adults gather and are exposed to the harmful rays of the sun, such as playgrounds, pools, bleachers and eating or recreation areas. In order to be considered, organizations must complete an application which demonstrates a commitment to sun safety and is accompanied by a letter of support from an Academy member.
Applications are available on the Academy’s Web site.