Although not every case of melanoma is caused by overexposure to sun, good evidence exists that UV radiation is a carcinogen. The best way to protect yourself from melanoma is to practice sun safety.
Avoid midday sun.
Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 year round. Be sure to cover all exposed areas of your skin. Reapply frequently when you are in the sun, particularly after swimming or exercising.
Wear protective clothing in the sun, including broad-brimmed hats and sunglasses.
Do not use tanning beds.
Check your skin regularly. If you notice any suspicious changes or growths, see a reputable dermatologist who is knowledgeable about skin cancer right away.
The American Academy of Dermatology's SPOT Skin Cancer program offers online information and a variety of downloadable materials, including handouts, flyers, and e-cards: https://www.aad.org/spot-skin-cancer
Sun safety resources for teachers: Mollie's Fund offers a curriculum suitable for grades 6-12, designed to accompany the downloadable DVD , “Dark Side of the Sun: Mollie Biggane's Story.” Lesson plans are designed to fill three 40-minute classes. http://molliesfund.org/education-prevention/health-educators/
The Skin Cancer Foundation offers a free Sun Smart U education program suitable or grades 6-12. It can be taught in one or two class periods and is available in a variety of formats, including Windows, iPad, and Android : http://www.skincancer.org/prevention/education-program
Sun safety resources for kids: The Enright Melanoma Foundation offers a free online Sun Safety Certification course for kids. The course is available in three age-appropriate versions, targeted to ages 5 to 8, 9 to 12, and 13 and over: http://applycoverenjoy.org
Sun safety resources for communities: The Melanoma Foundation of New England offers a program that allows towns, cities and corporations to provide free sunscreen to their communities: Practice Safe Skin
Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer: In July of 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the Surgeon General's Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer. This remarkable document marks the first time the Surgeon General's office has declared openly that UV radiation is harmful and that people need to protect themselves from its effects. It also lays out an action plan to stem the "rising tide of skin cancer" that has seen the incidence of melanoma alone triple over the last 35 years. The Call to Action web site includes many good resources as well as a downloadable copy of the report..
This July, the CDC issued its second Skin Cancer Prevention Report. The report includes lots of useful information and is the second of what the CDC envisions as annual updates on efforts to prevent skin cancer.