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Camps and daycares get sun smart and help protect against cancer

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2022 Sunsmart Accreditation: in front from left, Lynette George, Lindsey Matthews, Lexi Rego, Keri Pacheco and Jamie Bacon. At the back are Jacklyn Lambert, Kendia Gill, Azuree Williams and Jennifer Pitcher. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Dozens of camps and daycares have been accredited as “sun smart” for their measures to protect young people from sunburns.

The Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre said that this year 40 camps and three daycare programmes had registered for the SunSmart Accreditation Programme, with 39 receiving the certification.

Azuree Williams, event and education manager for BCHC, said they were excited to have so many camps certified this year — 13 were certified last year.

"This means that more than 1,300 children attending summer camps were less likely to suffer from sunburns and other signs of overexposure to the sun's UV rays," she said.

"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."

The BCHC said a single blistering sunburn in youth can double the likelihood of being diagnosed with skin cancer later in life, and Bermuda’s UV Index is “high” or “very high” for most of the year.

The free SunSmart programme includes a sun safety training session in which participating groups learn about how to protect young people from the sun.

Sunsmart Accreditation (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

A BCHC spokeswoman said: “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 co-ordinator 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.”

Groups interested in the SunSmart Summer Camp Accreditation Training can e-mail sunsmart@chc.bm or visit the centre’s website at www.chc.bm.

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Published September 16, 2022 at 7:42 am (Updated September 16, 2022 at 7:42 am)

Camps and daycares get sun smart and help protect against cancer

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