New York Cancer Prevention in Action: A Unique Initiative to Prevent Kids From Getting Skin Cancer

by Mike Nanfara

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. and worldwide. According to, 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by age 70; more than two people die of skin cancer in the U.S. every hour; and having 5 or more sunburns doubles your risk for melanoma. As a result, a new local initiative of New York Cancer Prevention in Action (CPIA) and the Population Health Collaborative (PHC) will provide programming and resources for children, families, and educators regarding the importance of sun safety in reducing the risk for skin cancer.

The initiative will address policies, systems, and physical environments of communities, and establish relationships with local community centers throughout Erie and Niagara that offer childcare and summer camps to thousands of children. Resources will include:

  • Collapsible tents and sun sails to create outdoor shade
  • automatic sunscreen-filled dispensers
  • reminder posters to reapply sunblock every two hours
  • sun safety information for families regarding sun safe behaviors
  • resources and materials to assist teachers in explaining the importance of sun safety
  • organizational policies to promote and improve sun safe behaviors

The goal of this unique initiative and partnership is to reduce children’s exposure to UV rays by promoting healthy behaviors that will ultimately prevent skin cancer. If you are a community center, summer camp, or day care center that could benefit from this program, contact us at or call 716-322-1012.

Mike Nanfara is the Program Coordinator for the Population Health Collaborative.