Ever heard of Don't Fry Day? For people with fair, easily sunburned skin that's likely every day. But for cancer prevention advocates it's the Friday before Memorial Day each year. It's an annual day to remind people to protect their skin from UV radiation, sunburn, and skin damage that can lead to skin cancer.
I remember watching my sister fry eggs on the sidewalk when we were kids. It was one of the hottest days of the summer and she spent hours outside in a tank top playing and admiring the mess she made. I can’t recommend our methods - the sidewalk didn’t look the same for months and our parents were furious. To add insult to injury, she also developed a blistering sunburn.
While every day is now don’t-fry-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk day at my house, the Friday before Memorial Day is the official "Don’t Fry Day" - an annual reminder at the start of summer to protect your skin and raise awareness for sun safety.
This Memorial Day weekend, I and everyone at the Nevada Cancer Coalition encourage you to practice the 5 S’s of Sun Safety. If my sister had, she could have spared her younger self a painful sunburn and her older self an increased risk of cancer - after all, evidence shows that each additional sunburn increases her lifetime risk of developing skin cancer. And sunburns aren’t the only way we can "fry" these days. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays in tanning beds can also increase your risk of skin cancer.
Here’s a quick reminder of 5 easy ways you can protect your skin:
SLIP on sun-protective clothing
SLOP on SPF 30+ sunscreen, and reapply every 2 hours
SLAP on a broad brimmed hat
SLIDE on sunglasses with UV protection
Have a sun-safe Memorial Day weekend. Happy Don’t Fry Day!
Anita Savell has been serving our Northern Nevada community for nearly a decade through volunteering. Now a third-year medical student at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, she looks forward to serving the community as a future physician.