Union County, NJ – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders invites residents to participate in the 2018 “Choose Your Cover” program, a free statewide skin cancer screening, awareness and educational initiative taking place on Saturday, August 18 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Clark Community Pool, 201 Oak Ridge Road in Clark.

The event is open to all, but pre-registration is required to schedule a free skin cancer screening.

“Summer is a great time to be outdoors but it’s extremely important to take smart precautions in order to prevent overexposure to the sun,” said Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados. “I’d like to thank the Chronic Disease Coalition and the Township of Clark for raising public awareness about reducing skin cancer risks.”

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To promote sun safety and help reduce the risk of skin cancer, personnel from the Union County Office of Health Management, Clark Health Department, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center will be on site for the August 18 event to provide free skin cancer screenings and help residents learn about the “Choose Your Cover” message.

The attendees who are pre-registered for a skin cancer screening will receive a special gift bag with skin cancer promotional materials, provided courtesy of the Clark Township Health Department.

Overexposure to the sun is a health risk for people of all ages and races. Before heading outdoors, a few simple precautions can protect your skin and lower your risk.

People who work or play outdoors, fair skinned people who sunburn easily, and those with a family history of melanoma are at an increased risk of developing skin cancer – the most common form of cancer in the United States.

“Overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays is one of the most preventable risk factors for melanoma and all types of skin cancer. This is why it is so important to ‘choose your cover’ and reduce your risk accordingly,” said Chairman Granados.

The Choose Your Cover program offers these tips:

  • Covering up exposed skin with long sleeve shirts and long pants in tightly woven fabrics can offer effective protection from the sun.
  • Opt for a wide-brimmed hat over a baseball cap for better protection of your head, ears and neck.
  • Wear sunglasses with 100 percent UVA and UVB absorption to protect the eyes from sun damage.
  • Look for shady areas or avoid the sun, if possible, during the middle of the day when UV rays are the strongest.
  • Remember to liberally apply a broad spectrum sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher and reapply frequently.
  • Steer clear of indoor tanning beds. They are proven to increase risk for skin cancer.

To pre-register for a free skin cancer screening call the Union County Office of Health Management at 908-518-5620