SunS­mart mes­sage comes to Mata­mata

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

The Can­cer So­ci­ety’s SunS­mart turtle mas­cot Un­der­cover Cody rolled into Mata­mata last week with a new sum­mer road show.

‘‘The Can­cer So­ci­ety had a huge amount of suc­cess with last year’s SunS­mart sum­mer road show that we’ve de­cided to do it all again,’’ said Waikato Bay of Plenty Can­cer So­ci­ety spokesper­son Rachael Moun­sey.

‘‘Our new show Un­der­cover Cody’s pic­nic at the beach will travel to over 150 early childhood cen­tres, kinder­gartens and te ko­hanga reo en­sur­ing kids know how to slip, slop, slap and wrap to keep them­selves safe in the sun this sum­mer. The show is go­ing to be both ed­u­ca­tional and en­ter­tain­ing and will once again in­clude Un­der­cover Cody’s great friends Duke, Ella and Ru­pert.’’

Skin can­cer is New Zealand’s most com­mon form of can­cer and ev­i­dence shows over­ex­po­sure to ul­tra­vi­o­let (UV) ra­di­a­tion from the sun dur­ing childhood sig­nif­i­cantly in­creases the risk of de­vel­op­ing skin can­cers later in life.

The Can­cer So­ci­ety be­lieves early childhood cen­tres can play an im­por­tant role in help­ing to re­duce th­ese skin can­cer sta­tis­tics by prac­tis­ing SunS­mart be­hav­iours with chil­dren while they are in their care.

‘‘As chil­dren are at early childhood cen­tres when UV ra­di­a­tion lev­els are at their peak, it is im­por­tant that th­ese fa­cil­i­ties know how to pro­vide a sun safe en­vi­ron­ment,’’ said Ms Moun­sey.

‘‘Two Can­cer So­ci­ety health pro­mo­tion teams will be trav­el­ling around the Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Lakes re­gions show­ing th­ese cen­tres and the kids what they can do to cre­ate a sun safe en­vi­ron­ment and how they can pro­tect them­selves in­di­vid­u­ally.’’

Aimed at kids from two to four years of age, the road show is free and ev­ery cen­tre will re­ceive a com­pli­men­tary goody bag full of Un­der­cover Cody re­sources to use with the kids fol­low­ing the show.

‘‘We hope teach­ers spend time with their stu­dents and the re­sources fol­low­ing the show to fur­ther re­in­force the slip, slop, slap and wrap mes­sage for the sum­mer,’’ she said.

‘‘It is vi­tal that we teach kids when they are young how to pro­tect them­selves in the sun so that SunS­mart be­hav­iours stay with them from youth and pro­tect them into adult­hood.’’


Sun smart: Un­der­cover Cody came to Mata­mata last week to spread the word about cov­er­ing up in the sun. He’s pic­tured here with chil­dren from Rawhiti Kinder­garten.

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