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Grammar and Sun Protection

“Don’t forget to wear your sunscreen!”

It seems that no matter how many times we say it, people somehow are not getting the message about skin care and the sun. The Center for Disease Control released its Skin Cancer Progress Report 2017, which came to these conclusions:

“However, we have yet to make much progress on increasing use of sun protection or reducing sunburn, and over half of high school students and one-third of adults get sunburned each year. The percentage of schools providing education on sun safety or skin cancer prevention has decreased in recent years.”1

How will teens and young adults get the message?

As a parent of college students, I find myself constantly beating the drum for skin care and I am now wondering if the message is getting drowned out. If you are a student of communication, you understand that no matter how the clear the message is and how important it is, if there is too much noise, the message does not get through. We live in a world of noise, noise from our screens primarily. Seems that our love for computer/mobile screens may be drowning out the call for sunscreen. is one way

I love that is using cutting-edge social media platforms to get out the message regarding the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of various forms of skin cancer. This is critical in reaching the masses with life-saving information. People from Baton Rouge to Bangladesh are able to engage this health community in effective ways. I am even more encouraged that other companies are finding creative ways to inform the public about melanoma and other skin cancers.

Another creative approach

Through the end of September, readers of who scroll over the black dots at the ends of sentences in health and wellness articles will find that they are not the usual punctuation periods. These black dots will actually be scroll over links to reminders about early melanoma detection in moles. According to a recent article, one in two millennial women enjoy the popular website. Readers will be gently instructed on the “ABCD’s” of cancer detection in moles with the goal of helping “more people understand what to look for, and when to seek screening, testing and treatment.”2

Reach them early and often

According to Popsugar’s editors, the goal of this initiative is to keep the conversation regarding good sun care going past the summer months among its younger viewers. And that is critical, to keep the discussion relevant when the picnics, beach trips, and golf outings have given way to hay rides in pumpkin patches. Since well-documented research shows that sun damage is cumulative and take full effect over years, it is critical to reach our young folks early on.

Mobile phones are key

Every good marketer understands that the Internet and especially the use of the mobile phone is critical in reaching the youngest demographics. It is important to creatively use these platforms to get the message out. My question is this, ‘What are other ways the Internet can be used?’ If grammar and punctuation can save lives, what else can be done?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

  1. Skin Cancer Prevention Progress Report 2017. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Dept of Health and Human Services; 2017.
  2. PopSugar and Doner team up to put a period on melanoma and remind people to get checked. The Drum.