SunWise Program on Radio Disney

In May 2007, SunWise appeared on Radio Disney's  Backyard Show. The guests on the show included Luke Hall-Jordan of SunWise; Alison, a graduate of SunWise; and Mrs. Lisa McGovern of Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program Exit The show is 30 minutes long and discusses why sun safety is important, what you can do to be safe in the sun, and some common misconceptions about the sun. In addition to the 30 minute radio show, SunWise sponsored a 30-second public service announcement (PSA) by T-Squad that ran in summer 2007. Thanks to Radio Disney for permission to post the audio file and transcript.

Download the MP3 Audio Files:

t-squad_psa_2007.mp3 (MP3, 0.5 minutes, 708K)

backyard_show_05.2007.mp3 (MP3, 30.3 minutes, 28MB)

If you have a slower Web connection, you can listen to the Backyard Show in sections:

Transcript

Narrator 
[space launch sound] 
Planet earth.  Population:  more than 6.3 billion.  Total mass:  316.96 million square miles.  Of course, 70.8% is water, so humans are crammed into the remaining 29.2%.  In North America alone, there are more than 281 million people.  No doubt, there are issues.  Things are going on all around us.  If you don’t stop and look, you’ll miss what’s happening in your very own world:  your continent, your country, your region, your state, your town, your street, your backyard.
[fade in background rock music]

Radio host Pete 
Goooooood morning rabbits and rabbettes, hamburgers and cheeseburgers!  It’s Pete from Radio Disney.  Welcome to the Backyard Show.  Today we have some very special guests joining us in the studio, and our topic is going to be sun safety:  how you can stay safe in the sunshine this summer, or winter for that matter, and still have fun.  So, while you’re wolfing back the bacon, scarfing down the cereal, milk, eggs, juice, fruit, whatever, gather around your radio and chew quietly.  We have some very special guests today.  [clapping]  Luke, from the EPA, Alison, a high school student, and Lisa McGovern, mom, and wife of Congressman Jim McGovern.  Welcome, everyone, to the Backyard Show!  How are ya?

Luke 
Well, I’m really well today.  Thanks so much, Pete, for having us in here.  It’s really exciting to talk about such an important issue, and, uh, get on your show, so thanks!

Pete 
Cool beans.  Well, we have a very cool program for ya.  In fact, we’re going to be discussing a program that’s available for everyone out there, especially you listeners.  It’s called SunWise, and it’s brought to kids all over the United States by, again, the Environmental Protection Agency, otherwise known as… [dun, dun, dun] the EPA [echoes].  [Luke laughs]  All right, here we are.  Tell us a little bit about, Luke, what the Environmental Protection Agency is and what it does.

Luke 
Sure.  Well, the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency, it’s a governmental agency, and we lead the nation’s environmental science, research, education, and assessment efforts.  So, pretty much, we create rules to protect the environment and sort of act as an environmental police to make sure that things are being done the way they should be—clean.  We also do a lot with advancing educational efforts to create an environmentally conscious and responsible public and to inspire some personal responsibility in caring for the environment that we live in.  So, basically, bottom line, if it deals with the air we breathe, the water we swim in and drink, we’re probably taking part in it.

Pete 
Absolutely.  Well, I mean, in recent years, and everybody knows it, you’d have to be living in, uhhh, in a deep dark cave to not notice that everyone has begun to start being an environmentalist.  And being an environmentalist, I think, used to carry along with it a connotation of sort of something…when in fact, every single one of us that lives on earth pretty much has that responsibility of being an environmentalist whether we know it or not.  I want to ask you: the SunWise Program.  What’s that about?

Luke 
Sure.  Well, the SunWise Program, it’s a free program that we provide to teachers everywhere.  But the real goal is to try and get kids like your listeners out here to protect themselves from overexposure to the sun.  And, you know, we’re working with schools across the country and communities trying to teach them how to be sun wise.  And you can learn about being sun wise at your school, local summer camp, neighborhood pool, or even at your favorite museum or science center.  So it’s a ton of fun, we’ve got a lot of really great activities, and the basic goal is, really, we want people like you and your listeners to have fun while you’re outdoors, but just do it safely.

Pete 
Mmhmm. 

Luke 
So, to give you a good comparison:  whenever you ride your bike, you always wear your bike helmet.  Or at least I hope you do.

Pete 
True.  I do.

Luke 
It’s the same sort of thing.  When you go outside, we just want you to put some sunscreen on, wear a hat, do simple things to just protect yourself from what’s out there.

Pete 
Yeah, I mean, it’s not that much to ask, is it.

Luke 
Anytime you go outside, whether it’s in the winter, spring, summer, or fall, on a cloudy or sunny day, you should think about being sun wise.  And what I mean by this is, I want you to enjoy the sunlight—have fun, be outdoors, we need it, like I said, we need the sun.  But you just gotta protect yourself while you’re out there.  And with spring here, and summer coming closer, obviously the days are longer, you want to spend more time outside.  And you should be out participating in recess, playing in the pool, or hanging out at the beach.  And we know that other than staying indoors, there’s really no single step that can fully protect anyone from overexposure to this ultraviolet, or UV, radiation which the sun emits.  But it’s okay.  Like I said, it’s not about avoiding the sun.  It’s just about protecting yourself when you’re outdoors.  So, next time you’re outdoors, I want you to try and follow our simple SunWise action steps.  And this is sort of a long list, so just try and pick up some of the bits and pieces.

Pete 
All right, hit me with it.

Luke 
Okay, here we go.  The first is, really, don’t get a sunburn.  Pretty self-explanatory.  I don’t like a sunburn.  You feel like a cooked lobster…

Pete 
Yeah…

Luke 
…You can’t sleep…

Pete 
Yeah…

Luke 
…And it’s just not fun.  Tip number one.  Tip number two is to generously apply sunscreen to all exposed skin, using a sun protection factor, or SPF, of 15 or higher.  Now this is very important because a lot of people just don’t put enough on.  Now, you think, okay, I’ll put a little dab on my finger, rub it around on my nose, and I’m good.  But no—you need to get a real palm full, and just slather it on.

Pete 
Well, you know, we’ve also come a long way from the old days.  I remember it very clearly.  You go to the beach, and mom, first thing’s first, grabs you and puts a big handful and then smacks you in the face [splat], and it’s like “Aah!”—embarrassing and kooky and weird.  And next thing you know, you’re slathered in this white foamy stuff and sand sticks to you and you’re like a boiled egg running around in the sand [Luke laughing].  It’s just a horrible experience.  But things have changed.  They have much more pleasant spray ons and much more user friendly.

Luke 
No, it’s a lot easier.

Pete 
So it’s really not an inconvenience to put that stuff on.

Luke 
No, I agree entirely.  And the big thing is, you’ve got to reapply it, too.  A lot of people don’t realize that.  It may say “continuous spray”, or “continuous”…it’s not.  It’s got to be reapplied every two hours because you sweat it off.  So that’s number two.  Really make sure you wear that.  And put it on even on cloudy days, winter days, you know, it’s a good habit to get into. 

The third one is to wear protective clothing.  And when I say protective clothing, I’m not talking about wearing your bike helmet, or shin guards, or knee pads.  I’m talking about wearing a hat.  Just a wide-brimmed hat or some sun glasses. And if possible, wear a long sleeved shirt and pants.  Now I know that’s pretty difficult to ask of some people because it gets pretty hot and humid here in the summer.

Number four is seeking shade when you can.  Obviously, it’s a lot cooler if it’s the summer, plus it reduces your exposure to the sun.  And it’s especially important between the hours of 10 and 4, because those are the hours when the UV rays are the strongest.  Which makes sense.  It’s the hottest hours of the day.

Pete 
Sure, that’s peak time.

Luke 
Yeah.  To find out when the sun’s the strongest, just look at your shadow.  This is a great tool.  If your shadow is shorter than you are, then you probably want to be sure you’ve got your hat and your sunscreen on and you’re taking these simple action steps.

Number five is to use extra caution near water, snow, or sand.  At the beach, the mountain, when you’re sledding, or at the lake, you know, at the local lake.  And these surfaces reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chances of sunburn.  And that’s obviously not something we want to have.  Tip number one, don’t get a sunburn.  So this is sort of helping you do that.

The sixth one is watching the UV index.  And this is sort of a forecasting tool that lets kids and parents out there know what’s happening, what the UV will be like at the peak hour, and that sort of helps you plan your day around it. 

Number seven is avoid sun tanning and tanning beds.  We talked about this.  So I know this is obviously a lot, but there’s just one more, and it’s talking about Vitamin D, which you can get from the sun, which is a good thing.  But you need vitamin D to have healthy bones.  And what we’re saying is instead of trying to be out there in the sun getting all your exposure, getting vitamin D that way, get it through those vitamins mom’s always trying to get you to take…

Pete 
A glass of milk?

Luke 
A glass of milk, yeah!  And other foods that have vitamin D in them.  So, like I said, a lot of tips, a lot of material, but really, the takeaway message is, when you’re outside and you’ve checked your shadow, you either seek shade or cover up with your hat, sunscreen, or sunglasses.  So that’s what I’m really trying to say

Pete 
Very cool.  And those are some very common sense things.  I think a lot of us know it, but a lot of us forget it.  Don’t wait for mom and dad to tell you do it. Do it yourself, show them how responsible you are.  Do you agree/ disagree?

Luke 
Absolutely.

Pete 
Next time they say, “Oh, you’re not responsible enough; oh, wait till you are this age; oh, wait till you’re that age.”  Start showing them now how responsible you are, and then that way, this is a great way to do it.  Because not only are you showing them how responsible you are, which will benefit you later.   But it also is going to keep your skin and yourself safer, it’s going to make your skin look better.

Luke 
Definitely.

Pete 
You know, who wants to be in high school and be all wrinkly and craggy? Nobody!  It’s just not the way to go.

Luke 
We like that baby soft skin that just stays that way.

Pete 
Like mine!  Thank you!

Luke 
There you go!

Pete 
All right.  Well, those sound like some pretty simple steps to take while you’re outside and outdoors.  Of course, a lot of you are out there playing around, you don’t even realize all these steps because you don’t think about it, you get a sunburn.
What actually happens when you get a sunburn? More importantly, how does it happen?

Luke 
Sure.  Well, I won’t get too technical because the basics are good.  But the sun gives off energy, like we talked about.  And we’ve got this great invisible shield in the sky, and it’s called the ozone layer.  And a good way to think about the ozone layer is to think about The Incredibles—one of my favorite movies, by the way.

Pete 
The Incredibles:  rated PG, parental guidance suggested.

Luke 
And they’ve got this character Violet.  And Violet is great because she creates this invisible force field around her and nothing can get through it.  Now, the ozone layer is something like this, except it’s not perfect.  Not like Violet’s force field.  So, we need to practice these action steps to make sure we’re doing this.  But what happens, really, is your skin gets too much exposure to the sun, it causes it to redden, and burn.  But we’ve got this great tool, and it comes in a free tool kit that we give to teachers, so…it’s a SunWise Frisbee.  And everyone loves Frisbees.  The Frisbee’s typically white, but when you bring it outside and expose it to UV it turns bright purple.  [magic sound effect] even on a cloudy day.  It’s just a great indicator to let you know that there’s UV out there.  And it often surprises people to see how much is out there.

Pete 
Right, so, as you’re playing Frisbee out there and you start to notice the Frisbee changing color, that would be a good indication…

Luke 
 Perfect indication!

Pete 
.. that there are UV rays.  UV ray!  And all those other things.  It’s like a Broadway show—“da da da da da!” 

Luke 
[laughing] 
Yeah, absolutely!

Pete 
No, it’s not like that.  It’s just a Frisbee, they’re UV rays, it’s invisible, and they can be dangerous with your skin.

Luke 
 Yeah, and they can have fun playing with it too.

Pete 
That’s kinda cool.  Now, let me ask you this.  There’s a tool out there, of course, that helps people figure out, aside from the Frisbee.  If we could all have the Frisbee, then we wouldn’t need this other thing. 

Luke 
That’s true.  That’s very true.

Pete 
But we need it.  What is it, where can we find it, and where can we find out more?

Luke 
Well, the UV index is this tool we’re talking about.  It’s part of our action steps, and it’s sort of like the weather forecast except it’s talking about UV.  So, you can find out the night before what the high UV level’s going to be for the day.  And it’s on a scale of 1 to 11+, and the higher the number, the higher the UV.

Pete 
I love that your index goes to 11 [Luke laughing]. 11+.  [in a British accent]  It’s not just 10, but you should just make 10 more, like, something.  Instead of 11+

Luke 
Funny story, actually.  It used to be.  And then we switched it to be like everybody else.  We got on board with everybody else

Pete 
As long as it’s not metric.  Because I couldn’t figure that out.

Luke 
[laughing] 
Well, yeah, and you can find it on our website, actually.  I would have your parents go on line and check out our stuff.  It’s www.epa.gov/sunwise.

Pete 
Okay. That’s www.epa.gov/sunwise.

Luke 
That’s it!

Pete 
Go ahead; type it in, you guys.  Go!  Type it!  Now, whoever’s got dial up, you’re holding up the whole show.  We don’t have much time left.  All right, you know what, we’ll just move on [Luke laughing].  You can check it out afterwards.  So we’re gonna move forward a little bit here. [fast-forward noise] 
Now, there’s a lot more to being sun wise than I thought.   This program from the EPA is for everybody, really.  There’s just really a lot to know about being in the sun and being safe and still having fun.  Because that’s the big message here.  That A, we want you to be safe, but B, we’re not telling you to not go outside

Luke 
Absolutely not.

Pete 
You know, you don’t have to play backarack in your living room for the rest of the summer. You can go outside and have fun, and you’ve just got to be conscious. Like we said, being responsible, showing your parents that responsibility and that get-up-and-go-ism, is really going to be to your benefit later on.

Luke 
It definitely will.  Especially when you want a car…

Pete 
Yeah, and that’s the thing—have fun, have fun outside, and just be safe.  Remember the action steps.  You know, they are simple, and it may seem like a lot to remember, but the simple truth is short shadow, seek shade and cover up.

Narrator 
[space music background] 
It is now time to play a legend:  hype, or myth?

Pete 
Behind myths, there’s a lot of hype, there’s a lot of legend, there’s a lot of mistruth, [Luke laughing] propaganda, if you will.  Yeah, I used it, I brought that word out.  Okay, so I’m going to read a myth to you and Luke, tell me true or false

Luke 
Sure

Pete 
A base suntan protects you from sun damage?

Luke 
Absolutely false.  A lot of people have that common misconception, but like I said, any change in color on your skin is a sign of overexposure.

Pete 
Okay.  Now, here’s the next one.  You cannot get a sunburn on a cloudy day?  True or false?

Luke 
Again, absolutely false, absolutely false.  You can get a lot of UV exposure on a cloudy day 

Pete 
Okay, okay, here we go.  We’re looking for a true; we’re looking for a true.  After two falses, we’re looking for a true, looking for a true.  Here we go: UV radiation during the winter is not a concern?

Luke 
Again, false! 

Pete 
Dahhh!!

Luke 
Common myth, I know!  Like a lot of these out there!  But have you ever seen those skiers, those Olympic skiers, when they come off the mountain and they take their goggles off.  And instantly, below there, they’ve got this very light light skin compared to their tan or even almost red.  That’s an indication that out on the slopes, it’s reflecting a lot of UV radiation.

Pete 
Absolutely.  And have you ever noticed when you’re outside and the snow’s on the ground and the sun’s beaming brightly?  It’s really hard to see. It’s that reflection, right?

Luke 
Uck, absolutely.  It’s the reflection.

Pete 
It’s the sun.  And it’s the same as when you’re in the ocean.  You’re playing and the ocean’s up to your waist and you’re having a good time, and you are just cooking.   Just cooking.  Because the sun is bouncing off.  And reflecting off the snow, and in the winter UV rays are definitely a concern.

Luke 
Absolutely

Pete 
Hit me again with that website.

Luke 
Sure.  It’s www.epa.gov/sunwise

Pete 
Hit me again!

Luke 
Epa.gov/sunwise

Pete 
One more time!

Luke 
Alright!  Epa.gov/sunwise

Pete 
 I need it, I love it, I can’t live without it!  One more time!

Luke 
[laughing] It’s epa.gov/sunwise

Pete 
There we go!  Alright, Luke, is there anything else SunWise has to offer for our listeners?

Luke 
Sure!  Well, I talked about this toolkit.  And this is a free kit that you can have your teachers sign up for.  And we’ll send it to them for free.  It teaches them all the stuff we’ve talked about to day, plus some really cool activities that are a lot of fun, using the Frisbees and others.  My favorite’s this gumdrop activity we’ve got for you.  Where, basically, you buy some gumdrops and a toothpick—well, a set of toothpicks—and you get your favorite colors, and you make ozone molecules.  And ozone molecules are teeny tiny, but you get a real large video.  Plus you get to eat them afterwards.  So, it’s a great activity, and plus I always like eating a few treats, so it’s good!

Pete 
No, I like that!  There’s a lot going on.  And of course, we’ve given you the website a million times.  I’m not giving it to you again.  Alright?  It’s not happening.  Well, maybe we’ll give it to you a little bit later

Luke 
Sure

Pete 
So, Luke, is there anything else I can get from you here?

Luke 
Sure—there’s lots of other free stuff online on the website too.  There are some great games on there for you listeners, and there are some free materials for the parents—fact sheets and everything, so I would encourage you to ask your parents, check it out, and really become sun wise

Pete 
Beautiful.  We got Luke up to about 3 and 2 in the count.  We threw hit a couple of curveballs he fouled off, and we tried to throw a fastball at him, but he blew that right out of the park.  So Luke, I’d like to thank you for being with us on the program.  You gave us a lot of sun safety information and still keeping it fun.  We really appreciate that.  And we’ve got another guest coming right after the break, and her name is Alison.  Alison is currently a high school student, so stick around.
[jazzy music]

Narrator 
It’s time for a high noon adventure, staring Butch Catastrophe and the SunBurn Kid. 

Kid 
Butch, why you looking at me like that?

Butch 
I guess I’m a little surprised.  I didn’t realize geckos could talk.

Kid 
What in tar nation are you babbling about?  Butch, have you drank any water today?

Butch 
I don’t know, gecko.  What’s it to ya?

Kid 
You’re starting to overheat and dehydrate.  Now here, sit down under this tree.  Now open up and drink this water.

Butch 
[gulping sounds] 
You’re too kind, Mr. Gecko.  I’m beginning to feel a little better.  Hey, you’re no lizard!

Kid 
No, I’m just named SunBurn Kid.  If you’re going to be out in the sun, drink plenty of water and be sure to take breaks in the shade [cowboy lasso sound]. 
[techno music]

Pete 
Hey, all, we’re back.  This is Pete from Radio Disney, and of course, this is the Backyard Show.  We are talking today with some of our friends from the EPA…and beyond…Because our next guest, she doesn’t actually work for the EPA, but she has experienced the SunWise program which the EPA is responsible for.  And, well, let’s just without further adieu, which is French for, well, adieu, let’s introduce Alison!  Alison, welcome to the Backyard Show!

Alison 
Hi, Pete, thanks for having me.

Pete 
Well, cool.  It’s a pleasure to have you here today.  You’ve already experienced the SunWise program.  You haven’t gotten less cool from being safe in the sun.  So tell us, what was your favorite part of the SunWise program?

Alison 
I have two favorite things that we did in SunWise.  One was the Chalk Shadows activity and the other was the SunWise relay races.  And we did this in third and fourth grade.  And the chalk shadows activity was our whole class, we broke up into partners and we went out on the playground on the blacktop.  So we went out in the early morning and we traced our partners’ shadows.  And we went back inside, did the rest of the stuff we had to do that day.  And then we went out at lunch time, and we looked and we traced our shadows again, and they were way smaller.  And so we learned that when your shadow is smaller than you are you should seek shade.  So if it’s really sunny and it’s the middle of the day, you should try and play in the shade.

Pete 
So you actually map out the size and length of your shadow so you could see throughout the day.

Alison 
Yeah.

Pete 
And what did that teach you at the end of it all?  That peak time is not just some myth.  It really happens, because the sun comes over and you’ve got a wide swath of time.

Alison 
It’s a lot sunnier in the middle of the day, and so you’ve got a lot more UV radiation coming down on you. 

Pete 
Interesting.  Have you and your parents tried out any of the other SunWise online activities or any of the other games?  Have you tried some of those?

Alison 
Yeah, recently my mom and I went through and we did the word searches.  Which are actually pretty difficult.  But if you’re a little kid or you’re younger, there’s easy or medium or hard skill levels. 

Pete 
I’d probably be best with the easy ones.  For me, really. [Alison laughing]  I’m not a strong swimmer, Alison.

Alison 
They’re really fun, though.  And educational too. 

Pete 
Very cool.  So you did it, your mom did it, and everyone enjoyed that.  Now that you’ve been through the entire program, tell us, what is it that you do to prepare before going out in the sun for an extended period of time?

Alison 
Well, before I go out, I put sunscreen all over the exposed areas.  So it I’m wearing shorts, I put it on my legs.  I always put it on my face because I am really fair skinned so I burn like crazy [Pete laughing].  And, um, if I can, I wear a longer sleeved shirt.  I try and wear a hat when I go to the beach and stuff like that.  I try and wear sunglasses, too, because it’s important to protect your eyes as well as your skin.

Pete 
And you look cooler, right?!  It’s important to protect your eyes and be diva-ish.

Alison 
Mmhmm.

Pete 
Okay. What else?  What else goes on?

Alison 
That’s pretty much it.  We put on sunscreen, we wear long sleeved shirts and clothes, we wear a hat, and we wear sunglasses.  And we always make sure to reapply our sunscreen.  That’s important.  Especially if you’re going to be out all day, or going to the beach, or going to the pool.  Because even if it says waterproof, a lot of it’s going to wash off or you’ll sweat it off. 

Pete 
Now, it sounds like you go through that process, and when I say process, it’s because I can’t think of a better word.  But it doesn’t sound like by the time you’re done, it’s lunch time and you still haven’t gotten out.  It sounds like it’s something pretty basic and pretty quick that you can do.  It doesn’t hold up the whole show, does it?

Alison 
It’s really easy and quick.  It’s definitely fast enough that it’s not gonna slow you down.  You can just put it on.  Try and remember to put it on twenty minutes or so before you go out, so it has time to soak into your skin, though.

Pete 
Very good point, very good point.  See, I wouldn’t have thought of that.  Now I’m thinking of that.  You know, what about your friends?  How does that work?  Have your friends, have you been able to sort of sway any of them or bring them over to the light side here?

Alison 
Yeah.  Uh, well when my friends and I go out, when we go out in the sun and stuff like that, especially in the summertime, I’ll bring sunscreen with me to reapply.  And if I have it, I’ll ask, “Do you want to use some?”  And at first, I didn’t know, you know, if they would think it was cool or not.  But they actually do.  They all use it and put it on, because they don’t want to get a sunburn either.

Pete 
Right.  And isn’t that, the more you take care of it, I mean don’t you think you get to spend a little bit more time out enjoying a nice sunny summer day?  Rather than you go out for a couple of hours, you cook, and then you go back inside and sit in a dark room with your skin tingling and tightening.

Alison 
It’s way, way better than getting a sunburn.  
Pete 
Yeah, you know, you get to enjoy it more.  Now before we let you go, Alison, you have a story, I hear, that includes your sister?

Alison 
Oh, yeah.

Pete 
Is this your sister over here?

Alison 
 Yeah, that’s my sister Natalie.

Pete 
Hello, sister.  [laughing] Oh, she just gave us the quiet, “Eeh!”  So, tell us.

Alison 
Well, when my sister was little, we went to the grocery store and we were by the sunscreen aisle.  And my sister rearranged all of the sunscreens so that she had the tanning oils, and the sunscreens with SPF 5 and stuff like that, and she put them all, she hid them behind the sunscreens that were, like, 45 and stuff like that.  And she told my mom to look and my mom didn’t get it, and my sister showed her, so my mom thought that was pretty funny.

Pete 
Okay, very good.  Ladies and gentlemen, give a big round of applause for Alison!  [clapping]  She was here on the Backyard Show, and she’s going home with a washer and a dryer!  Well thank you very much, Alison, and coming up right after the break, we’ve got some serious business to contend with.  We’ve got, well, you know what, we’re gonna keep it a secret.  Just stay tuned and we’ll be right back.  
[swing music]

Narrator 
It’s time for a High Noon Adventure staring Butch Catastrophe and the SunBurn Kid
[horse whip noise]

Kid 
Morning, Butch!  What’s wrong?

Butch 
Must have been bit by a thousand scorpions!  My skin is all tight, tingly, I’m hot, I’m cold, I’m…

Kid 
You’re sunburned! 

Butch 
Really?  How do ya figure?  I was out all day in the sun yesterday and I felt fine.

Kid 
Well, Butch, sometimes the damage caused by overexposure to the sun doesn’t take effect until twelve hours later!

Butch 
You’re sure you didn’t drag a cactus over my skin while I slept?

Kid 
Oh, I’m sure, Butch.  Now go ahead and use a little bit of that aloe to soothe the pain.  But remember, too much sun is no good.  It can cause serious health problems later!
[rock music]

Pete 
Hey, all, we’re back, and of course, this is the Backyard Show and I’m Pete, you’re not, and of course, this is Radio Disney.  We’re all here and we’re chilling, and I’ve got an incredibly nervous guest coming up.  No, she’s not, just kidding.  We’ve got a great guest coming up.  She’s the wife of a congressman.  And, well, right, here she is, she’s right here, she’s Mrs. McGovern!  Welcome to the program!

Mrs. McGovern 
Thanks very much.

Pete 
Well, you’ve had your own experience—you have a couple of kids your self, true?

Mrs. McGovern 
I do, I do.

Pete 
Well, the SunWise program, from everything we’ve heard so far, it’s not really that difficult to get involved with.  It’s not like, “oh, no..,” it’s fun.  And there’s a lot of ways you can have fun and learn and stay safe in the sun.  And, you know, for parents that are listening—you’re a parent, so let me ask you this:  your goal as a parent with your kids and the sun and getting sunburned and all the things that are associated with it, what are your goals as a parent?

Mrs. McGovern 
Well, my goal as a parent is to raise happy, healthy kids who learn good habits to carry them through their lives.  And that includes eating right, exercising, reading, the usual things.  And sun safety is right at the top of my list.  So, when they’re going out to play or swim or hike, they need to put on sunscreen lip balm and hats and sunglasses.  And they can get this done one of two ways—either I can do it for them, or they can do it themselves.  As they get older, they get physically able to do it themselves, but the question is, “will they?”  And that’s where SunWise comes in.  Because SunWise, the EPA’s SunWise, helps kids learn why they should do these things beyond just because mom says so.

Pete 
Right. 

Mrs. McGovern 
And that’s what I love about the kit.  It helps the kids to understand that this is something that they should want to do to protect themselves, not because they have to do it.

Pete 
And it doesn’t sound like a kit in the sense of, you know, this kit shows up and your parents have to put it together, and there’s batteries and pieces popping off everywhere.  It’s something that you could actually do on your own, or with your friends, or with your family, and there’s lots of different activities for everyone. 

Mrs. McGovern 
Yeah, that’s exactly right.  I mean, what it is is it’s this engaging, colorful…I mean, I say “kit,” but what it is is it’s a bunch of activities and fun things to do.  And one of the things I love about it is no matter what your kid’s interest is, whatever kind of kid you have, whether or not your kid is a science-based kid, there’s stuff having to do with learning about the solar system and the sun, and UV protection and experiments.  So there’s fun little activities from that perspective.

Pete 
So it’s sort of like art, and science, and…

Mrs. McGovern 
Exactly

Pete 
It all comes together

Mrs. McGovern 
Exactly.  My kids are kind of, like, more into art, more art oriented, so there’s all sorts of fun little projects. But if your kid likes to read, there’s stories about the sun from different perspectives and different cultures, so you can learn in that way.

Pete 
Oh that’s cool.

Mrs. McGovern 
Yeah, it really is.  Because the sun plays a big role in all of our lives in many different ways, you know.  So that’s what I love about it—no matter what your interests, there’s a way to grab your kid’s attention, for whoever they are.

Pete 
Yeah, no, I think that’s one of the most fantastic things.  What age group does it appeal to?

Mrs. McGovern 
It goes from kindergarten to 8th grade. 

Pete 
Oh, okay, cool

Mrs. McGovern 
So, big, wide, all different levels.  Flexibility in terms of interest, flexibility in terms of age.

Pete 
Oh, okay, very cool.  Now, for parents out there, I think there’s a lot more…a lot more encouragement for parental involvement.  And I know, I knowthere’s parents out there going, “Ahh, he’s gonna give us something else to do?!  Every week he gives us something else to do!”  Well, yeah, that’s right, I’m giving you something else to do, so get used to it.  So, what can parents do to get involved?  And teachers, too?

Mrs. McGovern 
Right, well, what I did, and what a lot of my friends have done, is take the kit to the school.  You know, one of the things I like about it is that it’s in English and in Spanish, which is neat.  And my kids are at a bilingual school, so I like that.  And take it to either the nurse, the school nurse, or to the coach—you know, people that are focused on kids being outside and work with kids health—or a health teacher.  And they can sort of look at what works and what appeals to them.  One way is to put some of the fun facts sheets in the kids’ newsletters and send it home.  And then there’s all sorts of activities with the little word searches or whatever, so kids can do in their weekly newsletter.  So, that’s one way that parents can take it and to help infiltrate it into the school.

Pete 
That’s great.  I mean, again, it’s teaching without preaching, it’s really learning how to be responsible.

Mrs. McGovern 
That’s exactly right.  I mean, you know, my kids are 5 and 8.  My little girl Molly, she’s 5.  And for her, she’s still at the age where I still have to kind of help her to get her to do it.

Pete 
Sure, so how do you get her to, sort of, go along?

Mrs. McGovern 
She is easy, because what we do is we pretend she’s going for a spa treatment.  I rub the suntan lotion on her, and she lays down and I pamper her, so it’s a fun, pleasurable experience for her.  She loves it!

Pete 
Yeah! 

Mrs. McGovern 
Now my son, Patrick, who’s 8, he’s a little bit tougher because the spa thing’s not going to work for him.

Pete 
Not going to work for him?!

Mrs. McGovern 
No.  So we used to really battle over this.  But he found his own solution, which is a surf shirt.  Which, at first, I thought the idea of trying to get my kid to put on a shirt to go swimming was never going to happen.  But we just went on vacation to an island and everybody had these shirts on, and they looked really cool.  And what it resulted in was he didn’t have to keep reapplying sunscreen on his back and on his front. He could just put this shirt on.  I mean, he still had to put it on his face, but that’s a lot smaller area.

Pete 
So, when you say a surf shirt, it’s one of those zip up, almost looks like a thing with a collar and that sort of sleeved…

Mrs. McGovern 
Actually, his didn’t have a zipper in it.  You just pull it over your head, but it’s made from that material that has the UV protection built right into it.

Pete 
Well that’s kinda cool.  And it’s a simple fix.  I’m sure that, as you said, you guys probably went a few rounds leading up to that point, but that’s part of the relationship that you have as parent and child.  Sometimes you have to, you know, it’s a good place for them to learn all sorts of things like “the way things are,” and “just because,” and...

Mrs. McGovern 
Right, it’s part of the transition from me doing it for them to them doing it for themselves in a way that they’re comfortable with and will actually do for the rest of their lives.

Pete 
It’s Negotiation 101, isn’t it?

Mrs. McGovern 
Exactly.

Pete 
So, you also have a program that you were going to tell us a little bit about.  Why don’t you go ahead and tell us what that program is, and what it does, and how people can get involved in that.

Mrs. McGovern 
[patriotic music in background] 
Okay.  Well, I’m the Executive Director of the Congressional Families Awareness Program.  And basically, as you said before, I’m married to a member of congress.  And we’re everywhere.  There’s a congressman in every district in every state.  There’s a number—in our state we have ten, but we’re everywhere throughout the country.  So basically, it was the idea that, let’s take this opportunity that we’re nationwide and let’s carry this message throughout the country. 

Pete 
So, I want to make sure before we go, I want to thank Luke and Alison and Mrs. McGovern for being part of the Backyard Show today.  I want to thank everybody out there who tuned in to listen and listen good.  I want to remind you about that website, where you can find out more about the SunWise program, is www.epa.gov/sunwise.  That’s epa.gov/sunwise.  Log on, check it out, check out the SunWise kit, enjoy your self, have a happy, healthy, safe summer.  I’m Pete from Radio Disney, this is the Backyard Show, and see ya!

Narrator 
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