Oneida County is urging residents to practice safety in the sun for the unofficial start of summer this weekend – starting Friday on National "Don't Fry Day."
“As we finally get to enjoy the warmer weather and as residents head outdoors to relax and celebrate the Memorial Day holiday, it is important we protect ourselves from too much sun,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. in a statement “Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers, but we can take steps ourselves to prevent it.”
According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is on the rise nationally, and it is estimated that one individual dies every hour from skin cancer. Fortunately, skin cancer is highly curable if detected early and it can be prevented if certain sun safety measures are followed.
The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention designates the Friday before Memorial Day as “Don’t Fry Day” to raise sun safety awareness. For the best protection from harmful UV rays, officials are reminding residents to “Slip! Slop! Slap! and Wrap!”
• SLIP on a shirt or other sun-protective clothing.
• SLOP on a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF30 or higher and reapply every two hours.
• SLAP on a wide-brimmed hat.
• WRAP on sunglasses to protect against cataracts, macular degeneration and skin cancer around the eyes.
Residents should be extra cautious near water and sand since they reflect the damaging rays of the sun, and should avoid indoor tanning.
To help educate area youth, the Oneida County Health Department and Jervis Public Library in Rome are hosting a sun safety event for Don’t Fry Day on May 24 at 3 p.m. to include a story and activity featuring the book “Pete the Cat at the Beach,” a UV bracelet making activity and UV-safe bucket hat giveaways.
For more tips on what you can do to be safe in the sun, visit: www.skincancerprevention.org.