State Department of Health Announces Poster Winners to Highlight Skin Cancer Prevention

One in Five Children Will Grow up to Develop Skin Cancer

ALBANY, New York - June 07, 2007 - The New York State Department of Health today announced that Cornwall Elementary School, fourth grade student, Kelsey Fosstveit is the State winner of the SunWise with SHADE poster contest. The winning poster will help raise awareness in children about skin cancer. Every year, 7,800 people die in the United States from skin cancer.

The winning poster and eleven finalists were selected from 5,921 student entries. Miss Fosstweit will receive a $250 U.S. Savings Bond, two tickets to a New York Yankees game, and a $500 SHADE Foundation grant for her school. She will also compete in the regional poster competition sponsored by the SHADE Foundation, a non-profit group dedicated to skin cancer prevention. Each of the grade level finalists will receive a $50 U.S. Savings Bond.

New York State SunWise with SHADE Poster Contest Finalists

  • Kindergarten: Andrew Kornfeld, The Lower Lab School PS 77, New York, NY
  • 1st Grade: Erik Fosstveit, Cornwall Elementary School, Cornwall, NY
  • 2nd Grade: Dillon Hoffman, Liberty Elementary School, Liberty, NY
  • 3rd Grade: Sarah Foran, African Road Elementary School, Vestal, NY
  • 5th Grade: Elizabeth Gilman, Forestville School District, Forestville, NY
  • 6th Grade: Thomas Lipani, JFK Middle School, Port Jefferson Station, NY
  • 7th Grade: Marian Tufano, Merton Williams Middle School, Hilton, NY
  • 8th Grade: Rachel Gerber, West Hollow Middle School, Melville, NY

Honorable Mentions: Arnav Gupta, Our Lady of Grace School, Brooklyn, NY (1st Grade); Charlotte Newman, Nassakeag Elementary, Setauket, NY (4th Grade); Samantha Lish, Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway, Lawrence, NY (5th Grade)

Each year, New York receives over 2,100 reports of melanoma. Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer, that can sometimes be fatal. The most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

Children are especially vulnerable to dangerous sun exposure through blistering childhood sunburns that can double the risk for skin cancer as adults. The majority of lifetime sun exposure occurs before the age of eighteen. Up to 90 percent of skin cancer cases are attributed to high ultraviolet radiation from the sun. However, simple steps can be taken to help prevent skin cancer, especially when they begin early in life.

To reduce exposure to the sun and the risk of skin cancer:

  • Avoid direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun's ultraviolet rays are strongest. Burns can even occur on cloudy days;
  • Seek shade during peak hours;
  • Wear wide-brimmed hats and long-sleeved shirts with long pants whenever possible;
  • Use full spectrum (UV-A and UV-B) sunscreen SPF 15 or greater applying it to skin fifteen to thirty minutes before going outdoors and again after swimming or perspiring;
  • Wear sunglasses that block ninety-nine percent of UV-A and UV-B radiation; and
  • Avoid tanning at tanning salons that can increase your risk for skin cancer.

For more information on how to prevent skin cancer please visit the Department's Web site at www.health.ny.gov/diseases/cancer/skin/.