TOPS at Forest Road School in La Grange Park, Illinois
Photos from the Friday, March 22, 2013 event.

The TOPS Outreach at the Forest Road School in La Grange Park, IL was another great success, thanks to a fantastic team of local volunteers who creatively presented the sun safety message in child-friendly, memorable ways.

Highlights included:

  • 400 students participated from grades 1,2,3,5, and 6 with their teachers
  • 800 sunscreen samples were distributed
  • Each child received a UV color-changing bracelet and TOPS sun safety tips card

First graders at the Forest Road School in La Grange Park, IL had fun learning about sun safety through the recent WDS TOPS (Time Out, Protect Your Skin) outreach, presented by local health-care professionals, led by WDS Board member Becki Tung, MD and Cindy Krol. 400 students participated in a lively, interactive presentation about sun safety and skin health . Students received sun safety tips, broad-spectrum sunscreen, UV color-changing bracelets and other fun giveaways. Teachers received curriculum materials furnished by the American Skin Association and the WDS.
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These elementary school students know sun safety!
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Drs. Monika Kaniszewska and Anne Mahoney show elementary school students how dermatologists get a close look at moles during a recent WDS TOPS (Time Out, Protect Your Skin) outreach in LaGrange Park, IL

WDS Board member and event co-chair Becki Tung, MD provided the following recap:

At my home, brainstorming and preparation for these WDS sun safety educational events has become a family affair. My daughter Eleanor Tung-Hahn, aged 13, was the creative force behind the conception and development of our child-friendly powerpoint presentations which incorporated visual elements to help convey the message of sun safety in a fun, appealing manner. Together, we started with the content from ASA books and built a visual story around the key messages we wanted to convey. While second graders may not know exactly how a tanning bed harms skin, we provided an accessible visual synonym—a toaster which they grasped instantly. My favorite quote from a child in the audience—"Why would someone do that to their skin?" upon seeing a 'tanned' doll morph into a wrinkled tan person. Thank goodness for grapes and shriveled raisins being on every kid's favorite list—another easy opportunity for us to show how sun damage works from a child's perspective.

To kick up the entertainment factor of our talk, Eleanor also suggested development our mascot, Tori the Turtle, for the children to apply their SunSmarts knowledge.  From this dinner table conversation, she zipped off the initial sketch of a beach bound turtle  which ultimately gave rise to the final interactive image created by Caroline Krol and her team.

To our call of "Who has a mole?", the hands went up to see how a dermatologist looks at skin lesions with a dermatoscope. Anne Mahoney, MD and Monika Kaniszewska, MD were our dermatoscope experts to provide reassurance about the good moles.

The students particularly loved the fact that they had a visiting 'local' celebrity—Loyola Dermatology nurse Kim Harris, RN, also an alumna for Forest Road School, to help present the day's activities.

Shooting "original" images for a revised presentation was another fun activity that occurred in our Chicago studio—aka apartment. Thank goodness for "aging" phone applications, bronzer and heavy duty make-up—Eleanor and Caroline were able to become characters who did not subscribe to a sun safe lifestyle. Thank you to the WDS and La Roche-Posay for supporting and launching these educational outreach programs—truly as with all service activities—I feel that we have gained more than we have given.

Before Tanning
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Using Technology to Photoage
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Photoage: How it's done... behind the scenes
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Women's Dermatologic Society
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