When families go to the baseball stadium this season, they plan on eating popcorn and having fun – not developing skin cancer. However, exposure to the sun can increase the risk of developing skin cancer, the most common type of cancer. To prevent skin cancer among Iowans, Iowa’s Minor League Baseball teams and local organizations are working together to enhance sun-safety awareness. They plan to increase awareness of sun-safety practices at local stadiums throughout the 2012 baseball season by offering sunscreen and educational resources for fans at the ballpark.
Teams involved in this initiative include the Iowa Cubs, Cedar Rapids Kernels, Clinton LumberKings, and the Burlington Bees. In addition to providing sunscreen, many teams have partnered with their local medical centers to provide further sun-safety educational activities including a free skin cancer screening day at the ballpark, sun-safe activities for youth, and other sun-safe giveaway items. Community partners include the Iowa Cancer Consortium, Iowa Department of Public Health, Mercy Cancer Center (Des Moines), Helen G. Nassif Community Cancer Center (Cedar Rapids), Hall-Perrine Cancer Center (Cedar Rapids), Mercy Medical Center (Clinton), Medical Associates (Clinton), and Genesis Health System (Davenport).
“The health of our fans is important to our teams,” said Iowa Cubs General Manager, Sam Bernabe. “Though we are competitive on the baseball field, we are united in our desire to keep our fans safe both at the ballpark and at home. By coming together, we can promote sun-safe behaviors while outdoors and increase knowledge about a largely preventable disease”.
May is skin cancer awareness month. Simple steps to limit exposure to harmful UV rays and reduce risk of developing skin cancer include:
1. Wearing protective clothing (hats, sunglasses, clothing) when possible;
2. Generously applying sunscreen to exposed skin at least 20 minutes before going outdoors;
3. Seeking shade between the hours of 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM; and
4. Avoiding unnecessary exposure to UV rays (including indoor tanning).
Cedar Rapids Kernels’ mascot Mr. Shucks showcases a sunscreen station at Veterans Memorial Stadium during a home game on May 2nd, 2012. Sunscreen was provided by the Iowa Department of Public Health in an effort to increase sun-safety awareness at Iowa ballparks this summer.
Team schedules and ticket information is available here.
For more information about this project, please call Rachel Schramm at (319) 467-4569 or email.