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FSDDS Creates New Sun Defense Essay Contest Throughout Florida Elementary Schools

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Feb. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- In order to promote and increase sun safety and awareness, the Florida Society of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery (FSDDS) is holding an essay contest at the elementary school level across Florida. The FSDDS Florida Sun Defense Essay Contest is designed to help educate elementary school age children and parents about the importance of sun safety. It is being co-sponsored by the Florida Association for Media in Education (FAME) as a part of its on-going information literacy efforts.

"The purpose of this statewide educational campaign is to heighten the awareness in elementary school aged children about the potential dangers of sun exposure. These children must start now to realize that while it is great that we live in the Sunshine State, increased chances of exposure to the sun require extra precautions," said Tamarac dermatologist Dr. Glenn Zellman, current president of the Florida Society of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery (FSDDS).

Cocoa Beach dermatologist Dr. Kristin Smallwood, chair of the FSDDS Public Relations Committee and the Director of the Sun Defense Essay Contest for the FSDDS, goes further on the importance of early intervention in fighting the potential for skin cancer. "It is especially important for young children to become accustomed to protecting themselves from exposure to the sun. While many people do not realize it, the sun exposure you get when you are younger can manifest itself many years later as skin cancer. It is important that we educate young children at an early age about this fact," Smallwood said.

The FSDDS is working on this initiative in conjunction with the Florida Association for Media in Education (FAME), who has endorsed the FSDDS contest as a part of their statewide information literacy campaign. Miriam Needham, the current president of FAME and an Ocala-based media specialist, felt that this program was a natural fit for FAME. "This sun defense essay program is obviously an important part of the statewide fight to reduce skin cancer, but it is also another great way for us as media specialists to specifically support information literacy at the elementary school level. In composing their essay on this important subject, students will get an opportunity to research sun exposure, skin cancer and their impacts in Florida. We would think that the best essays will have the best use of facts about these subjects and we always welcome the opportunity to help students to learn how to conduct this type of research at an early age. Information is power and, in this case, can also be lifesaving as students learn about the dangers of sun exposure," stated Needham.

For more information on the essay contest, click here. To download the contest entry form, click here. A printable promotional poster is also available by clicking here.

The FSDDS ( is the professional association for dermatologists in Florida. FAME ( is the professional organization for media specialists in all public and private schools in Florida.

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