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When Brandon Blue, an oncologist at Moffitt Cancer Center, picked up his daughter Bria from the Moffitt Child Development Center, she immediately began talking about her day.

“Daddy, we learned about protecting our skin from the sun and rain,” said Bria.

Bria participated in the Healthy KIDZ at Moffitt’s sun smart virtual program, which teaches the importance of sun safety to decrease skin cancer risk. 

After a long day on the job, Brandon was happy to see Bria so excited. “I could not function without the daycare on Moffitt’s McKinley Campus,” he said. “It is an essential part of my family's ability to be a part of our children's lives.”

Brandon’s wife is also a doctor and their lives are busy and difficult. He says the Child Development Center is the best thing that’s happened to their family, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The center is run by Bright Horizons and is available to Moffitt employees.

He appreciates being able to take Bria to daycare that is located so close to the cancer center. He knows she is not only getting good care, but also an opportunity to learn about cancer prevention at an early age.   

Bria promises to help pack the sunscreen, especially for their upcoming visit to Zoo Tampa.

Third grader Jackson Matthews also participated in the sun smart virtual class during his summer break from school. Because he and his family regularly go fishing on their boat, he was very willing to share his expertise with the class.

“I already knew a lot of things about protecting myself from the sun,” said Jackson. “I was so excited about being able to answer questions and will share what I know with my friends,” said Jackson.”

Jackson’s mother, Andrea Matthews, has worked at Moffitt for 23 years and serves as the human resource liaison for the Child Development Center.

“That’s a tough age to teach cancer prevention tips, but the kids stayed so engaged,” said Andrea. “It was a great program.”  

Whether it’s going out on the boat or visiting Busch Gardens or Zoo Tampa, Jackson and Bria will be the first to put on sunscreen.

To help you protect yourself and your family when outdoors, Moffitt’s skin cancer experts suggest the following advice:

Sunscreen – Always apply a waterproof, broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. Pay attention to easily missed areas of your body, such as your ears, the tops of your feet and the part in your hair. Reapply it every two hours, as well as after you swim or sweat.

Clothing – The best way to protect your skin from sun damage is to cover it with clothing, including a loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirt and long pants made of a tightly woven fabric.

Hat – Protect your head, ears, face and neck with the shade of a wide-brimmed hat constructed of a tightly woven fabric like canvas. If you wear a baseball cap, be doubly sure to protect your ears and neck with sunscreen.

SunglassesProtect your eyes by wearing wraparound sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays.

Shade – Seek shade underneath a shelter, umbrella or tree, especially during the mid-day hours. Even if you are in a shaded area, remember to protect yourself with sunscreen, clothing, a hat and sunglasses.