OSWEGO – On hot summer days, there’s no better place to cool off than at Oswego’s Charles E. Gallagher Pool in Fort Ontario.
A destination for children and families, the pool offers a lot of fun and sun. To ensure that visitors to the pool can safely enjoy the sun, the city of Oswego recently introduced a policy that promotes the behavior of children, families and visitors to outdoor recreational activities; creates environmental support to prevent overexposure of visitors to the sun; and provides important information about sun safety to visitors.
As part of that policy, the city has partnered with Oswego County Opportunities (OCO) Cancer Prevention Program (CPiA) to raise awareness of skin cancer and the importance of sun safety. For the convenience of those poolside, OCO’s Cancer Prevention in Action program has installed four sunscreen stations; one in each locker room and two at the pool entrance. The sunscreen is available free of charge to everyone at the pool to encourage sun-safe behavior.
The city’s poolside sun safety policy promotes the following basic personal strategies to prevent skin cancer in visitors.
• Wear full-body clothing when out in the sun, including four-inch full-brimmed hats, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants (weather permitting).
• Use sunglasses that say they protect against 100% UVA & UVB. A UV-protective coating can be applied to prescription glasses.
• Apply a full spectrum (UVA & UVB) sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) to exposed skin 30 minutes before going out in the sun. Sunscreen is provided free of charge to Oswego Fort Pool staff and customers!
• If possible, reduce exposure to sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
• Play in shaded areas whenever possible.
• Find the shade when you are outside in the sun.
In addition to the addition of sunscreen and sunscreen dispensers available free of charge to visitors and staff, sun safety instructions will be incorporated into all Oswego fort pool visitor activities/curriculums. Visitors will be encouraged and reminded to practice basic personal strategies for skin cancer prevention through on-site communication in strategic locations.
“Whether swimming or lounging by the pool, it’s easy to take for granted how long your skin has been exposed to the sun’s harmful UV rays,” says Leanna Cleveland, Community Health Coordinator for Oswego County. Opportunities. “Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. The sun’s UV rays can damage your skin within 15 minutes, but with the right safety precautions, you can protect yourself from skin cancer.”
“Our partnership with the city of Oswego has been nothing short of fantastic,” Cleveland continued. “In addition to the new sun screen stations at the fort pool, we have also installed sun screen stations at the pavilion and splash pad in Breitbeck Park and at Wright’s Landing Marina. The Cancer Prevention in Action program focuses on educating community members about what they can do to prevent cancer. I appreciate Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow and city leaders working with us to support our efforts and promote sun safety for residents and visitors to the city.”
“Implementing a sun safety policy and installing sunscreen dispensers will protect Oswego families, especially our children, while swimming in the city pool, Mayor Barlow said. “The free sunscreen stations we have installed at the pool, marina and other city parks offer residents the opportunity to access good sun protection while enjoying our beautiful improvements and amenities.As always, I greatly appreciate our continued partnership with OCO on sun safety policies as we continue to work together to protect our residents better protect.”
Oswego County Opportunities is a subcontractor of the St. Lawrence Health Initiative to provide the Cancer Prevention in Action grant locally in Oswego County. For more information about the Cancer Prevention in Action program, which is supported by New York State funding, visit takeactionagainstcancer.com.
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