Gwinnett elementary receives sun protection for students

Gwinnett County education officials gather Thursday, Nov. 21 at Lilburn Elementary for a ribbon-cutting ceremony of the school's new sun shade structure. COURTESY OF GWINNETT COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Gwinnett County education officials gather Thursday, Nov. 21 at Lilburn Elementary for a ribbon-cutting ceremony of the school's new sun shade structure. COURTESY OF GWINNETT COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

When the Georgia sun beats down in July and August, it’s obvious that those intense rays can cause skin cancer, but sun exposure is just as dangerous when the temperatures drop.

So it made sense for Lilburn Elementary School to host a dedication of their new sun shade on a blustery November day last week.

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The American Academy of Dermatology provided funding for the purchase and installation of the permanent structure on Lilburn Elementary’s playground. Dr. Robert McClure, a dermatologist, member of the AAD and a former longtime Gwinnett County School Board member, sponsored the school’s grant application.

The new structure will provide sun protection for students and staff each day. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, affecting at least one in four Americans in their lifetime. Unprotected exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays increases the risk of contracting skin cancer, but seeking shade is an easy way to protect oneself from the sun and help prevent skin cancer.