That means hours of sunshine and exposure to harmful ultraviolet radiation (UV rays) from the sun.
To ensure that everyone can practice sun safety during Harborfest, Oswego County Opportunities (OCO) Cancer Prevention in Action program (CPiA) has partnered with the City of Oswego to raise awareness of skin cancer and the importance of sun safety.
OCO’s Cancer Services, which collaborated with the city to implement sun safety policies at Wright’s Landing Marina and Breitbeck Park, has extended those policies to include Washington Square Park, one of Harborfest’s most popular venues, the ball fields at Fort Ontario, and Legends Field.
“Whenever you’re outside enjoying a sunny day it’s easy to take for granted how long your skin has been exposed to the damaging UV rays of the sun,” said OCO Coordinator of Community Health Leanna Cleveland. “Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. The sun’s UV rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes, but with the proper safety precautions you can protect yourself against skin cancer.”
The city’s sun safety policies at Breitbeck Park, Wright’s Landing Marina, Washington Square Park, and the Fort Ontario ball fields include access to free sunscreen dispensers and signage to promote the following basic personal strategies for preventing skin cancer for visitors:
- Wear full-body coverage clothing when outside in sunlight, including four-inch full brimmed hats, long-sleeved shirts, and full-length pants.
- Use sunglasses that state they protect from 100% UVA & UVB. A UV-protective coating can be added to prescription glasses.
- Apply full-spectrum (UVA & UVB) sunscreen (SPF 15 or greater) to exposed skin 30 minutes before going outside in the sun.
- Reduce exposure to sunlight between 10 AM and 4 PM (10 AM to 3 PM during the winter).
- Play in shaded areas.
- Seek shade when outside in the sun.
“With the addition of a sunscreen policy at Washington Square we now have free sunscreen dispensers and sun safety tips at three of Harborfest’s primary locations,” said Cleveland. “We want people to enjoy Harborfest to the fullest. By practicing sun safety, you can avoid painful sunburns and the possibility of skin cancer later in life.
“The Cancer Prevention in Action program focuses on educating community members on what they can do to prevent cancer. I appreciate that Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow and the city’s leaders have partnered with us to support our efforts and promote sun safety not only during Harborfest, but all year long.”
“I’m thrilled to partner with Leanna and the folks at OCO to raise awareness about sun safety and cancer prevention in the Oswego community,” said Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow. “By installing several free sun screen stations in our city parks and marina, we provide residents with the proper protection while they enjoy our wonderful improvements and amenities.”
Oswego County Opportunities is a subcontractor of the St. Lawrence Health Initiative to deliver the Cancer Prevention in Action grant locally in Oswego County. To learn more about the Cancer Prevention in Action Program, which is supported with funds from the State of New York, please visit takeactionagainstcancer.com.