Public health works to decrease risk of skin cancer

Slip, slop, slap, slide and seek to reduce risk of skin cancer

The public health department of Greene County Medical Center wants area residents to get more outdoor activity this summer, but to take precautions against the harmful effects of the sun.

Laine Custer helps lifeguard Lauren Carlson with sunscreen at the Jefferson pool. Also at the pool when Custer and Becky Wolf (right) delivered the sunscreen were (from left) guard Chantel Flack, pool manager/wellness coordinator Simeon Lang, guard Chelsea Flack, city council member and JPRD board member Larry Teeples, and JPRD director Vicky Lautner.
Laine Custer helps lifeguard Lauren Carlson with sunscreen at the Jefferson pool. Also at the pool when Custer and Becky Wolf (right) delivered the sunscreen were (from left) guard Chantel Flack, pool manager/wellness coordinator Simeon Lang, guard Chelsea Flack, city council member and JPRD board member Larry Teeples, and JPRD director Vicky Lautner.

Public health nurse Laine Custer and public health director Becky Wolf, also a nurse, delivered gallon jugs of sunscreen to the Jefferson municipal swimming pool, the Greene County Early Learning Center, and the concession stand at Spring Lake last week.

According to Wolf, the 2016 Greene County Community Needs Assessment/Health Improvement Plan identified strategies aimed at targeting childhood obesity and the need for increased physical activity for all ages, especially those with chronic diseases. Offering free sunscreen at various dispensing sites around the county is a vital link to encourage improved preventative health habits and to increase public awareness regarding the risks of skin cancer.

Sun Safety posterSunscreen with an SPF of 30 is recommended for the best protection. Sunscreen should not be used on babies less than 6 months of age—it is best to keep this age in the shade with clothing and hats to protect the skin.

Visitors to those three locations are encouraged to use the free sunscreen to be “sun-safe”.  In addition to these three dispensers, be watching for free samples of sunscreen packets which will be “appearing” around the community.

The Iowa Cancer Consortium reports that skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in Iowa, and that most cases can be prevented by practicing sun safety and avoiding tanning beds and devices.

The consortium suggests five “S”s to reduce the risk of skin cancer: Slip on a shirt, Slop on sunscreen, Slap on a hat, Slide on sunglasses, and Seek shade.

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