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An AAD grant program is helping to protect children from harmful UV rays from the sun. Providing shade in outdoor spaces is important to keeping children from getting sun damage that may lead to skin cancer. The shade structure grants provide $8,000 to eligible applicants to build a permanent shade structure. One of the requirements of receiving the grant is that the school or organization needs to be actively involved in promoting awareness of the dangers of sun exposure and the importance of skin protection.
The grant program coincides with a new education initiative being implemented this year by the AAD targeted towards 8 to 13 year olds. “Good Skin Knowledge” aims to educate young people about skin, hair, and nails and encourage increased self-esteem. Indoor tanning has become increasingly popular among teenagers and has been linked directly to an increased risk of developing skin cancer. The desire to have tan skin is a cultural one that is also promoted by magazines and shows that young people watch. The educational materials and lesson plans include recognition that the skin of people in magazines is not realistic and that photos are often heavily retouched. They also discuss melanin and the factors that determine skin color.
If your child’s school has not implemented such a program yet then let them know how important it is to educate them on good skin care habits and skin myths. Also let them know that grant program exists that will be provide a shaded outdoor area where students can play. You can also take it upon yourself to educate your children about skin health by following some of the guides on the AAD Good Skin Knowledge page.