HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES             H.R. NO.35            
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                     HOUSE  RESOLUTION

  REQUESTING THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, IN COOPERATION WITH THE
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, TO ESTABLISH A SUN PROTECTION
    POLICY FOR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CHILDREN AND A SUN PROTECTION
    PROGRAM TO EDUCATE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CHILDREN AND THEIR
    PARENTS.


 1        WHEREAS, Hawaii's tropical climate, beautiful beaches, and
 2   numerous outdoor activities often result in both residents and
 3   visitors alike suffering from prolonged exposure to sunlight;
 4   and
 5   
 6        WHEREAS, many people who are overexposed to sunlight are
 7   at higher risk of malignant melanoma and other forms of skin
 8   cancer; and
 9   
10        WHEREAS, skin cancer represents the most common of all
11   cancers in the United States, accounting for thirty to forty
12   per cent of all malignancies reported; and
13   
14        WHEREAS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
15   reported that for the period from 1973 through 1991, the
16   incidence of melanoma, a serious form of skin cancer, increased
17   faster than any other form of cancer in the United States; and
18   
19        WHEREAS, while melanoma may be lethal if not properly
20   treated at an early stage, melanoma and other forms of skin
21   cancer are easily prevented through reducing exposure to
22   sunlight; and
23   
24        WHEREAS, in addition to those who are at high risk for
25   genetic or biological reasons and those who pursue high risk
26   activities that are likely to lead to overexposure, it has been
27   found that childhood exposure may increase a person's risk of
28   skin cancer; and
29   
30        WHEREAS, Australia, among other countries, has developed
31   an innovative nationwide campaign, called "SunSmart", to reduce
32   the incidence of skin cancer in its population, at least eighty
33   per cent of whom have skin that is susceptible to skin cancer;
34   and
35   
36        WHEREAS, an integral part of the SunSmart campaign is the
37   schools program, which was designed to ensure that all
38   students--ranging from pre-schools to universities--are

 
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                                  H.R. NO.35            
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1   protected from skin damage caused by harmful ultraviolet
 2   radiation from the sun; and
 3   
 4        WHEREAS, since childhood exposure is closely related to
 5   the developments of melanoma later in life, the schools program
 6   is designed to have long-lasting benefits and has produced
 7   innovative teacher resources that have an integrated curriculum
 8   approach; and
 9   
10        WHEREAS, for example, the Anti-Cancer Council of Victoria,
11   Australia, provides resources for teachers that enable them to
12   implement SunSmart programs, and provides in-service training
13   and support to educators and parents in school communities on
14   all issues relating to skin cancer prevention; and
15   
16        WHEREAS, the SunSmart policy requires school children to
17   wear a hat during outdoor activities not only during the
18   academic year, but throughout the entire calendar year; and
19   
20        WHEREAS, Australia's SunSmart policy also promotes the
21   use, by students and staff, of hats that shade the face, neck,
22   and ears; the use of shirts with collars and sleeves that are
23   made from a closely woven fiber; and the application of SPF15+,
24   broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen before all outdoor
25   activities and reapplication every two hours; and
26   
27        WHEREAS, many primary schools in Australia also feature a
28   "no hat, play in the shade" policy, under which students eat
29   lunch inside or in the shade, line up in the shade, attend
30   assemblies held inside, and have access to seats in the shade;
31   children are encouraged to wear a hat when outdoors; and
32   schools are encouraged to develop shade areas; and
33   
34        WHEREAS, although the Department of Health has adopted a
35   Sun Protection Program to provide information and other public
36   services to help prevent skin cancer and other skin problems
37   related to overexposure to the sun, there is a need for the
38   Department to adopt a similar program for school children; and
39   
40        WHEREAS, the Legislature finds that the health and welfare
41   of Hawaii's school children would be greatly enhanced if
42   preventive measures are taken now, similar to Australia's
43   SunSmart program, to protect them from the hazards of exposure
44   to the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun; now, therefore,
45   
46        BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the

 
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                                  H.R. NO.35            
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1   Twentieth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session
 2   of 1999, that the Department of Health, in cooperation with the
 3   Department of Education, is requested to establish a sun
 4   protection policy for elementary school children and a sun
 5   protection program to educate elementary school children and
 6   their parents; and
 7   
 8        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Health, in
 9   establishing a sun protection policy and education program, is
10   requested to review the SunSmart program in Australia, as well
11   as comparable innovative programs in other countries and other
12   states on the United States mainland; and
13   
14        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Department of Health is
15   requested to report its findings and recommendations, including
16   any proposed implementing legislation, to the Legislature no
17   later than twenty days before the convening of the Regular
18   Session of 2000; and
19   
20        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this
21   Resolution be transmitted to the the Director of Health, the
22   Superintendent of Education, the Chairperson of the Board of
23   Education, the President of the Hawaii Skin Cancer Coalition,
24   and the President of the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii.
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28                         OFFERED BY:  ____________________________