Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center and YMCA Partner for Sun Safety Education

Safe Fun Under the Sun


(Baton Rouge, La.) One blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence more than doubles a person’s chance of developing skin cancer later in life, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center and YMCA of the Capital Area are teaming up to educate local youth about sun safety to help reduce chances of skin cancer as an adult.

Children participating in YMCA summer camps and sports during the summer of 2013 and their parents and/or caregivers will receive free information about healthy sun habits and tips on how to protect their child’s skin.

“With school ending and summer quickly approaching, children will spend many hours playing outdoors from summer camps to sports and vacations. Forgetting to protect the skin is easy to do when you’re having fun. We want to teach children how to enjoy the summertime while still protecting their skin from the sun’s harmful rays,” said Johnnay Benjamin, early detection and education director at the Cancer Center.

Cancer Center staff members will also visit the YMCA summer camps to give fun, informational talks to the children. Explanations of proper SPF sunscreen protection, sun-proof clothing including hats and sunglasses and the importance of shade will be highlighted during the visit.

Bob Jacobs, president and CEO of the Y, said, “We believe that by educating children and their parents about the importance of safe sun practices, we can reduce the number of adults with skin cancer in years to come, helping to create a healthier community.”

Parents should remember to apply a broad spectrum water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher a half hour before sun exposure all over their children’s skin. Sun protective clothing, a hat and sunglasses should be worn in addition to sunscreen. And to minimize sun effects, seek shade during the hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are the strongest.

While printed materials will be distributed only at YMCA summer camps, you can download this free sun safety information here.


Mary Bird Perkins—Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center is the most comprehensive cancer center in Louisiana offering patients the convenience of receiving high-quality, advanced care close to home. The Cancer Center is part of the National Cancer Institute Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP), a group of competitively selected cancer centers that is developing a national model for community cancer care.