Shade Planning for Schools

1 Shade Planning for America’s Schools W HAT I S THE P URPOSE OF T HIS M ANUAL ? In 2002, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published the Guidelines for School Programs to Prevent Skin Cancer , which outlines steps that school communities can take to develop a comprehensive approach to reducing the risk for skin cancer among students, teachers, staff, and visitors. The guidelines include the following recommendations: • Establish policies that reduce exposure to solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation. • Provide and maintain physical and social environments that support sun safety. • Provide opportunities for students to gain the knowledge, develop the attitudes, and practice the skills needed to prevent skin cancer. • Involve family members in skin cancer prevention efforts. • Provide pre-service and in-service skin cancer prevention education for school administrators, teachers, coaches, school nurses, and other professionals who work with students. • Support sun-safety policies, sun-safe environments, and skin cancer prevention education with school health services. • Evaluate the implementation of policies, environmental change, education, family involvement, professional development, and health services. This manual has been created to support school communities in their implementation of the Guidelines for School Programs to Prevent Skin Cancer and, specifically, to help schools create and maintain a physical environment that supports sun safety by ensuring that school grounds have adequate shade. Why Should Schools Care About Skin Cancer? Cancer of the skin is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States and perhaps the most preventable. Melanoma and non-melanoma cancers, including basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer, account for as much as 50% of all cancers. Because the reporting of non-melanoma cancers to cancer registries is not required, the exact number of non-melanoma cancer cases is not known. However, estimates indicate that as many as 1 million cases of basal cell and squamous cell skin cancer occur each year. 2 2 American Cancer Society. What Are The Key Statistics For Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer? Available at Melanoma, which accounts for only about 5% of skin cancer cases, also accounts for 79% of skin cancer deaths. From 1973 and through the early eighties, the incidence rate of melanoma among white men and women in the United States increased by about 6% per year. Since the early eighties, the increase has been around 3% annually. Approximately 55,100 new melanomas were diagnosed in the United States in 2004, and about 7,910 people died of melanoma that same year. 3 3 American Cancer Society. What Are The Key Statistics For Melanoma Skin Cancer? Available at Between 68% and 90% of all melanomas result from exposure to ultraviolet radiation. 1 1 MMWR 2002; 51(RR04):1-16. Available at