Community Stories:

Fort Macleod - Sun Safety Initiative

During the summer of 2018, Community healthy champions in Fort Macleod worked on wellness initiatives to create supportive environments that make healthy choices more accessible. Sun safety was identified as a priority.

An action plan was jointly created through the efforts of Community health champions, the Town of Fort Macleod, WA Day School staff, and lifeguards at the town outdoor pool. The goals of this campaign are to increase community awareness of UV risk. They wanted to target patrons of outdoor community spaces, the pool, families and students.

The action plan described activities around UV messaging and awareness. A one page UV rating information sheet was printed off to be distributed throughout the community. The team also designed two 3 foot signs on corrugated plastic with the message “slip, slap, slop” to be placed at the outdoor pool and spray park. Town of Fort Macleod staff even build plexiglass cover for the signs to help them last longer in the sun!

Sunscreen samples were also provided at the physician’s office, pool and handed out to families and kids participating in summer camps and outdoor swimming lessons. UV beads that can be used in crafts, change colour when exposed to the sun and were given to the FCSS summer programming to be handed out to families with young children. 1 litre sunscreen pumps were purchased for the pool and school with information about UV ratings. The Town of Fort Macleod contributed further by building a box to hold the sunscreen at the outdoor pool right below the UV awareness sign!

Community Healthy Champions then met with the lifeguard staff to teach them how to engage in sun safety messaging to patrons. Over the summer lifeguards reported positive feedback on the quick messages that were shared.

This UV awareness was successful as there was strong support from partners involved. Sunscreen was used at the pool throughout the summer!

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