Sunscreen dispensers pop up in DeWitt recreation area | Featured story

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BATAVIA — Genesee County and Rochester Regional Health-United Memorial Medical Center hope people will use sunscreen dispensers in the DeWitt Recreation Area or that the dispensers will at least remind them of the need for sunscreen.

“Even if you only slightly increase the use (of sunscreen), you will help prevent cancer. Since skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, this would be helpful in preventing this,” said Rochester Regional Health dermatologist Dr. Gian Vinelli.

Vinelli said about 80% of UV rays will pass through clouds on overcast days.

“You’ll get a terrible burn, often on cloudy days, because people don’t think to put on sunscreen, because it’s so chilly, especially here in Rochester. You can get a really bad sunburn right in the middle of it. winter. It doesn’t matter the ambient temperature. If it’s daytime, you risk sun damage and serious burns.

Vinelli, UMMC Healthy Living Manager Laurie Thornley and Genesee County Deputy Highway Superintendent Paul Osborn, who oversees parks and recreation facilities, were in DeWitt Thursday to talk about the reason behind the park’s five sunscreen dispensers. They are funded by a grant awarded to the UMMC Healthy Living Program. This project is supported by Health Research, Inc. and the New York State Department of Health with funds from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“We have installed five dispensers in key locations,” Osborn said. There is a vending machine in each of the two bathrooms, one at the south entrance parking lot on Cedar Street, another near the three-level fishing platform, and one at a kiosk on Route 5 near the Ellicott trail.

Thornley said UMMC has learned of grants to support local efforts to reduce cancer in communities.

“There were several options that were given as projects. Some were education. Some were activities,” she said. “I know that Paul and I … talked about different ways of working together. being Healthy Living and the parks program, through certain types of projects that would help the community. This project looks good to me. It seemed timely, (with) summer coming… One such project was to place sunscreen dispensers in a county park.

Thornley said she contacted Osborn and they decided Distributors would be a good project to pursue. Five dispensers have been placed in DeWitt so that they can be used by people coming to the park.

“If you forget your sunscreen or if you don’t plan to be at the park that day, it gives people the opportunity to remind them that they forgot their sunscreen or give them the opportunity to use it while they’re here,” she said.

Thornley said sunscreen is a way for people to protect themselves against the risk of sun damage and skin cancer.

“There are other things people can do, but if they use sunscreen daily it helps protect against UV rays which can increase the risk of skin cancer,” she said. .

Vinelli said even a sunburn would increase the risk of skin cancer.

“Most of us, in general, have had sunburn before. The fact that we have these distributors here is an incredible program,” he said.

“The biggest problem, usually, with sunscreen…people use more sunscreen than the right amount. Sunscreen can be a bit pricey, especially if you have a family of three, four, or five and that you have to put it on every couple of hours like you’re supposed to and you slather on all the kids, you can go through a lot of sunscreen,” Vinelli said. “You’re generally supposed to use 1 ounce of sunscreen per application . Most of these bottles are 2, 3, 4 ounces. It could be just a bottle is a child for a day. It could definitely add up.

Osborn, who oversees parks and recreation facilities in the county, said the county, UMMC Healthy Living and Rochester Regional Health wanted to test the program to see if people would use it, but also to provide another service.

“Thanks to the grant, we were able to buy the equivalent of nearly two years’ supply (of sunscreen). We wanted to be able to set up as many distributors as possible…” Osborn said. “The parks will absorb the cost of sunscreen itself through the budget over the years as long as it lasts for us and gets used to.”

Osborn said the county will see people using the park and bringing sunscreen with them, especially if they have children.

“We receive a lot of people for lunch. We also have programs here for the parks themselves. Parents often don’t send the sunscreen with them,” he said. “We just had two kayak programs yesterday (Wednesday) and the day before. They brought lunch, but they didn’t bring sunscreen. In fact, we installed them (distributors) yesterday and they were using them. We will also use them as an educational element for the parks with the Maison de la Nature… with our educational programs. It’s a plus. »

Osborn said the county only has enough sunscreen dispensers to place in the DeWitt Recreation Area.

“We wanted to focus here, where we have the general public, the urban population,” he said. “We get more visits here on a regular basis during the day and during the week, where in Bethany (at Genesee County Park and Forest)…a lot of our population comes on the weekends.”

Osborn said the county would try DeWitt’s dispensers as a pilot program and see its success,” he said.

Speaking of SPF50 (sun protection factor 50) sunscreen, which is what distributors offer, Vinelli said people often think of SPF as relating to a number or time.

“In fact, it is not. SPF30 is about 97% effective in blocking UV rays, while 50 is about 98%,” he said. “People (often think) ‘I want to get the 120… It doesn’t make much difference. It’s about 99 percent. The American Association of Dermatology really recommends that if you go outside for a few hours , get a 50, that’s why it’s perfect.

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