Helping preschoolers deploy ‘superpowers’ against sunburn

August 13, 2015


Below is an excerpt from a story published by The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The full story can be viewed on MD Anderson’s website.

Five globe-trotting, sun-blocking superheroes teach preschoolers about lifelong sun safety in a new curriculum available this summer based on research at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

While shade-wielding Ray and his four friends, the Sunbeatables, help teachers deliver sun protection messages through songs, games and other lessons for the under-5 set, the program also connects with parents to highlight the five superpowers: shade, clothing, sunscreen, hats and sunglasses.

“Research has shown that excessive sun exposure during childhood increases the risk of developing  melanoma and other skin cancers later in life, so it’s important to develop sun protection habits at a young age,” said Mary Tripp, Ph.D., instructor ofBehavioral Science and one of the program’s developers. “Children can learn how to be sun safe not only at school but at home with their parents.”  

Available in its initial pilot rollout this summer, Ray and the Sunbeatables™: A Sun Safety Curriculum for Preschoolers is being taught at 50 sites reaching 2,639 preschoolers in six states through a partnership between MD Anderson and the CATCH Global Foundation. The foundation is a charity that offers evidence-based programs to promote healthy lifestyles for children and families through its Coordinated Approach To Child Health (CATCH) program.

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[…] Lisa Cumings is community health liaison at Kishwaukee Hospital in DeKalb, Ill., where the Kishwaukee Family YMCA teaches the Sunbeatables.

“When it comes to cancer prevention, we are always talking about eating healthy and exercising but what we fail to realize is skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. The Sunbeatables  addresses this concern by starting early and targeting our preschoolers and their families. Interactive lessons make sun safety fun and engaging for our preschoolers,” Cumings said.

For the full story, click here!