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Loyola to Teach Bilingual Sun-Safety Program for Kids before Summer

MAYWOOD, Ill.  – Having one blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence more than doubles a person's chance of developing melanoma later in life, yet less than one-third of all young people take the proper steps to protect their skin from excessive sun exposure, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Loyola University Health System is taking steps to curb this trend during Skin Cancer Awareness Month in May. The organization will partner with the Women’s Dermatologic Society on its "Time Out, Protect Your Skin" national initiative to educate children about sun safety.

Loyola dermatologists and staff will visit Lincoln Elementary School from 12:30-2 p.m. on Friday, May 10, to teach students in English and Spanish how to protect their skin. The event will take place at 3545 S. 61st Ave. in Cicero.

A recent study from Washington University in St. Louis found that melanoma is on the rise in children. U.S. Hispanics also are less likely to engage in skin cancer prevention practices, according to The Cancer Institute of New Jersey.

“Skin cancer may go undiagnosed in children because kids and parents don’t think to look for it,” said Rebecca Tung, MD, director, Division of Dermatology, LUHS. “Reaching out to children of all skin types with information about skin cancer prevention is especially important since melanoma is frequently more aggressive in Latinos, African-Americans and Asians."

Time Out, Protect Your Skin will incorporate sun-safety education, outreach and materials into the school’s curriculum through an ongoing collaboration. The program provides sun-safety training for faculty and administration. It also funds the construction of a large overhang steel post and canvas shade that will be installed on the school’s grounds later this spring. Along with the presentation, sun-safety tips will be provided to students and staff along with SPF 60 broad-spectrum sunscreen and UV color-changing bracelets.

“We are grateful to Loyola and the Women’s Dermatologic Society for teaching our students about the dangers of sun damage,” said Donna Adamic, Superintendent, Cicero Public School District 99, and Jorge Rueda, Vice President, Board of Education, Cicero Public School District 99. “This session is especially timely as many of our students prepare for summer.”

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

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