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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Carl Kanefsky, Communications Director
(302) 540-4979, Pager

Date: May 27, 2010


Memorial Day traditionally starts the season of tank tops, shorts and sandals as we enjoy warm and sunny weather. But before we head out into the sunshine, the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) reminds all Delawareans to enjoy the sunshine safely by observing the Friday before Memorial Day as Don't Fry Day. It's all about taking precautions against the sun's harmful rays.

Skin cancer, caused by too much sun, is the most common of all cancers in the United States, and Delaware has one of the highest skin cancer rates in the country. Estimates reveal that one American dies every hour from skin cancer. More people will be diagnosed with skin cancer this year than breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancer combined. In fact, one in five Americans will get skin cancer in his or her lifetime. And the most common cause of skin cancer is preventable: too much sun.

"You can still enjoy the sunshine and the outdoors, " assures Dr. Karyl Rattay, DPH Director. "But take precautions. Applying a protective sunscreen takes only a few minutes of our time, helping us avoid painful and dangerous sunburns. I encourage everyone, especially parents, to apply sunscreen liberally and frequently to their children and themselves and to make applying sunscreen a habit," advises Dr. Karyl Rattay, DPH Director.

Here is what you can do to be safe in the sun: