Saturday, June 1, 2013

Slip! Slop! Slap! Protects Kids from the Sun

Living Color by Nina G. Jablonski
Minimizing risk of skin cancer while retaining benefits of Vitamin D

In her book Living Color: The Biological and Social Meaning of Skin ColorNina G. Jablonski extols the virtues of the Australian government program called "Slip! Slop! Slap!"

"Slip! Slop! Slap!" is a campaign to encourage Australians to protect themselves from the sun by slipping on a shirt, slopping on sunscreen, and slapping on a hat. Seeking shade, avoiding sun exposure and wearing sunglasses complete the multi-faceted approach to reduce the risk of skin cancer.

Although the book is best known for insightful information about how skin color has come to be a biological trait with great social meaning, and about discrimination and racism, Ms. Jablonski discusses at length the benefits and need of Vitamin D in all humans.

She explains the following determines risk for skin cancer:

1. Family history and comparative skin color of others in the area in which a person lives
2. Lifestyle, diet, and determining how much Vitamin D is obtained from a person's diet and from sun exposure
3. Consulting medical professional to help customize and balance the need for Vitamin D with the risk of sun exposure

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