Cass County Public Health is collaborating with local childcare centers this summer on a sun safety initiative through a grant provided by the Iowa Cancer Consortium and the Iowa Department of Public Health.

“We know that childhood sunburns are a major risk factor of melanoma. One or more sunburns during childhood doubles the risk of skin cancer later in life,” said Beth Olsen, Director of Cass County Public Health. “Melanoma remains the most common cancer in adolescents and young adults. Our goal is to teach our youth and their parents the importance of protecting themselves from the sun year round to reduce the risk of cancer in Cass County.”

Cass County Public Health is using the ‘Ray and the Sunbeatables®’ programming, which is an evidence-based curriculum to help educate children, parents, and teachers about sun protection and promote sun safety behaviors. The curriculum uses superheroes to talk about sun safety items such as wide brim hats, sunglasses, covering skin, applying/reapplying sunscreen, staying in the shade, and watching mid-day time outdoors. Early education can help children get into the habit of protecting themselves and these children will take the message home to other family members, too. For more information or questions regarding the programming, please contact Cass County Public Health at 712-243-7546.