Children's Melanoma Prevention Foundation Founder, Maryellen Maguire-Eisen 😎🌞


I learned a ton of information from Maryellen Maguire-Eisen, the founder of the Children's Melanoma Prevention Foundation last week!! I took extensive notes on the interview recording and I've picked out the highlights for you. Did you know that...

One person dies every 40-45 minutes in the US from skin cancer and it's preventable and easily recognizable. We need to educate people because for some reason we're not making this a priority.

The Children's Melanoma Prevention Foundation has reached 1 million children and 100,000 children yearly. They are the only US national children's melanoma prevention organization. In their program, to keep things fun with kids, they use various tools depending on the age of the students - for elementary school kids they use felt people so the kids can show the adults how to protect someone from the sun. For older kids they have a UV reflecting camera which shows sun damage on a person's skin and shows a person how well they have covered their skin with sunscreen. They also use a dermatoscope for kids to learn how to notice normal mole characteristics and have them do case evaluations.

There is a video called How the Sun Sees You which uses similar technology as them and reveals typical damage to the skin from the sun.

Their program uses the SunAWARE acronym to make things simple:

Avoid unprotected exposure

Wear sun protection clothing - hat, sunglasses, wide brimmed hat, long sleeves

Adequate amounts of sunscreen - 1 ounce applied every two hours or every 40 or 80 minutes, depending on the type of sunscreen and whether a person is perspiring (at 52:42 in the video she talks about this)

Routinely examine your skin for changes and report changes to your health care provider

Educate others - it's so important to teach others. For example, the most important thing to know about UV rays is that they peak June 21 but you can get apps that tell you the UV level at any place or time - it's easier to get a sunburn in May (even at 50 degrees) than in August! Melanoma is more common in the northern states of the US than in the south. Kids in the south do get some cumulative sun exposure but we get more sunburns in the north. In skiing you get a LOT of UV rays reflected off of snow; also higher altitude (kids/families go during February, April vacations).

What is the risk of melanoma for someone who doesn't burn? 5 skin types have been classified.

Type 1 - very light complexion, often red headed, always burn, never tan.

Type 2 - usually burn but could tan...