I’ve always been a fan of good causes but feel as though poor marketing has often killed their message; this is one of those situations. Enter “Don’t Fry Day.” The campaign was set up by The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention and “Fry Day” is going to be on the Friday before Memorial Day or 5/27/11 - tomorrow. The campaign is set right before the summer sun really kicks in to get the message out to protect your skin, which is a major issue when you consider every hour an American dies from skin cancer.

"As millions of Americans head outdoors for family fun on Memorial Day weekend – the unofficial kick-off to summer – 'Don't Fry Day' is an important reminder for the public to protect their skin from ultraviolet (UV) radiation while enjoying the outdoors," said Sandra I. Read, M.D., co-chair of the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention.

"While most everyone enjoys a sunny day, keeping your skin safe from overexposure to UV radiation can be easy by practicing simple sun-safety tips."

I am a believer in trying to take care of yourself when it comes to skin protection, so I thought I’d pay these tips from the campaign forward.

What You Can Do to Be Safe in the Sun:

1. Do Not Burn
Overexposure to the sun is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer.

2. Avoid Sun Tanning and Tanning Beds
Ultraviolet (UV) light from tanning beds and the sun causes skin cancer and wrinkling. If you want to look like you’ve been in the sun, use a sunless self-tanning product instead.

3. Cover Up
Wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses, where possible.

4. Seek Shade/Use Umbrellas
Seek shade when appropriate.  Remember that the sun’s UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

5. Generously Apply Sunscreen
Generously apply sunscreen to all exposed skin using a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15 that provides broad-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Reapply every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.

6. Use Extra Caution Near Water, Snow and Sand
Water, snow and sand reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of sunburn.

7. Check the UV Index
The UV Index provides important information to help you plan your outdoor activities in ways that prevent overexposure to the sun. Developed by the National Weather Service (NWS) and EPA, you can find the UV Index for your area online at: www.epa.gov/sunwise/uvindex.html.

8. Get Vitamin D Safely
Get vitamin D safely through a diet that includes vitamin supplements and foods fortified with vitamin D. Don’t seek the sun or indoor tanning.

All of these are valid tips, especially Tip #6 which talks about the amplifying power sand/snow have on the suns rays.


Unfortunately upon hearing about “Don’t Fry Day,” I assumed it a day devoted to not eating fried foods. Clearly I was very off. Hopefully others wouldn’t deal with the same mix-up, but while we’re on the subject it wouldn’t hurt to cut fried foods from your diet. Pass the message on about “Don’t Fry Day” on and help limit skin cancer once and for all.