With summer in full swing, many Texans are already hibernating where there’s central air, but we are all seeing more of that hot, hot sun whether we like it or not! Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States (more than 2 million cases are diagnosed each year) and while some are at higher risk, no one is immune. 1 in 5 people will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, and here in Texas we have the 5th highest rate of melanoma cases, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Skin cancer is preventable, so The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has developed a fun and interactive way to inform kids, parents and teachers about sun safety, administered by the CATCH Global Foundation. Their Sunbeatables™ Program includes superhero characters Ray and the Sunbeatables, who together have sun safe superpowers to protect themselves against the harm of UV rays!
The new Sunbeatables sun safety curriculum for kindergarten and 1st grade students is now available for free to all qualifying child care/education organizations! Ray and the Sunbeatables are currently sharing their passion for sun safety with an estimated 36,405 K-1 students in 176 elementary schools across Texas. Through this interactive program, students learn to express the importance of sun protection and demonstrate ways to protect themselves from the harmful effects of exposure. Each unit includes four activities including a puppet show, sun safety songs, science experiments, and more! The content for K-1 builds upon Ray and the Sunbeatables: A Sun Safety Curriculum for Preschoolers and aligns with many national and state standards. Check out a free sample lesson or sign up for the free program and toolkit here.
Positive sun prevention habits must begin at a young age, because burns in childhood increase the risks of developing skin cancer as adolescents and young adults. Take a stand against this preventable disease by being sun-safe yourself this summer, and help educate and protect our littlest Texans using the CATCH program!