Visualizing the importance of healthy sun habits
Medical students Jayci Givens and Joanne Jacob used Good Skin Knowledge to teach healthy skin habits to Girl Scout troops across Houston.
Jayci’s and Joanne’s story
Many of us have memories of squirming and running away from our parents as they desperately tried to apply sunscreen before joining friends on the playground or at the beach. We remember questioning why we even needed to put on something greasy and annoying. Now, as medical students, we’ve learned about the dangers of sun exposure, and look back with gratitude at the valiant efforts of our parents.
It’s not easy to understand the long-term consequences of sun exposure at a young age. That’s why we found the AAD Good Skin Knowledge program on sun safety so important. During our weekly sessions with Girl Scout troops across Houston, Texas, we covered topics from skin health to plants and bugs. During our sun safety session, we demonstrated over video how to put together bracelets with beads that change colors with ultraviolet exposure. The girls were so excited to see the results of our experiment as they put their new bracelets in the sun. It was a fun way to teach these girls that sun exposure can occur even when just sitting next to a window.
After discussing how rays from the sun can damage our skin, the girls were bursting with questions about the meaning of the acronym “SPF,” and agreed that sometimes the sunscreen aisle at the store can be overwhelming. We “decoded” sunscreen labels by teaching about terms like broad spectrum and water-resistant. Our troop brainstormed and discussed other methods to protect our skin from the sun, such as wearing sunglasses and hats, and seeking shade.
We ended the sessions by holding up our bracelets and pledging to wear sunscreen when we noticed our bracelets changing color. It’s our hope that instilling this knowledge at a young age can make a lasting impact on the health of the girls in the program and countless others they encounter in the future.
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The Good Skin Knowledge youth education campaign provides free resources to educators to teach children about acne, skin health, and sun protection. Learn more about how you can get involved.Get involved