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A single blistering sunburn in youth can double one's chances of being diagnosed with skin cancer later in life. This statistic is significant given that Bermuda's UV Index is "high" or "very high" for most of the year. As a result, Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre has been running SunSmart programmes, currently sponsored by The St. Baldrick's Foundation, for over 20 years. One of these programmes is the annual SunSmart Accreditation Programme which engages with local summer camps to create sun-safe environments for the Island's youth.
"We are excited because this year 36 camps met all of the requirements and have achieved SunSmart Accreditation", states Azuree Williams, Event and Education Manager for Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre.
"This means that more than 1,300 children attending summer camps were less likely to suffer from sunburns and other signs of over-exposure to the sun's UV rays", continues Williams. "The goal is that by changing behaviours at a young age we can reduce the risk that these children will develop skin cancer as adults."
SunSmart is a free accreditation programme offered by Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre to Government and private camps. Participating organisations attend a sun safety training session where camp organisers and counsellors learn how to protect the children in their care from the sun. Organisations are guided through developing a Sun Safety Policy, which they are expected to implement during operating hours. Unannounced visits are conducted by the SunSmart Coordinator to assess whether policies are being carried out and thus keeping the children of Bermuda safe from the sun.
Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre provides each participating organisation with an emergency supply of hats, sunscreen and sunglasses to help reinforce safety behaviours. These supplies are made possible by Bermuda's participation in the annual St Baldrick's event held every March. The St. Baldrick's Foundation grants the Centre 10% of the funds raised by the local events.
To inquire about the SunSmart Summer Camp Accreditation Training, contact the SunSmart Coordinator by phone at 236-1001 ext. 1005, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or find information here.
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Deborah Titterton Narraway
Created Oct 20, 2023
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