Sun Awareness Month

National Sun Awareness Month

May 1 – 28, 2023

Children looking out from behind a tree with hats and sunglasses on


This May, Public Health is promoting the Canadian Dermatology Association’s month-long sun awareness campaign, part of National Sun Awareness Month. Sun Awareness Month - Canadian Dermatology Association

The campaign informs Canadians about the importance of self skin examinations and the simple steps that can be taken to protect themselves and their families from the sun's harmful ultraviolet radiation exposure. 

Throughout the month, the CDA will be sharing important sun awareness messages and resources for Canadians, including steps to conduct a self-examination and preventative actions across Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, CDA websites, media, and more.

2023 CDA Sun Safe Behaviour Survey

A public opinion survey completed in September 2023 by the CDA revealed the top concerns for Canadians exposing themselves to the sun continue to be sunburn and increased risk of skin cancer.

  • More parents believe sun exposure causes irreparable damage to the skin (87% vs. 80% of those without children), yet an increasing amount of them still enjoy being in the sun despite its risks (70% vs. 58% of those without children). 
  • A higher proportion of parents think sunscreen may cause damage to the environment (59% vs. 49% of those without children) and admit that the impact sunscreen has on the environment deters them from using it (29% vs. 21% of those without children). 
  • Significantly more parents believe that sun protection in the winter is not necessary (34% vs. 26% of those without children), or that when skin is tanned or skin tone is naturally dark, it’s not as important to apply sunscreen (32% vs. 23% of those without children), and having a tan is important to them (45% vs. 34% of those without children). 
  • Fewer parents try to avoid sun exposure between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. (46% vs. 58% of those without children). 
  • Other concerning beliefs that more parents hold than those without children include that when it’s cloudy outside, there is no need to use sunscreen (44% vs.
  • 29%), getting a sunburn is the first step to getting a suntan/makes you tan faster
  • (29% vs. 20%), and there’s no need to wear sunscreen in the winter (36% vs. 27%). 

2024 Shade Structure Grant Program

Are you a school, daycare, municipal park, or a not-for-profit organization seeking shade for your community? Providing shade is an important way to minimize sun exposure & reduce the risk of skin cancer. The CDA Shade Structure Grant program is offering five grants up to $7,500 each to have permanent shade structures installed. Application deadline is June 28, 2024.

Free Printable Resources

Social Media Toolkit

Here are some important dates during the month of May:

Sun Awareness Month (May 1-31)

  • CDA’s Third Annual “Check Your Skin Day” (May 5)
  • Week 1 (May 1-3): Launch of campaign, Release of Ipsos Reid Survey Results
  • Week 2 (May 5-11): Why are children and youth important to target?
  • Week 3 (May 13-17): Healthy Sun Protection Habits
  • Week 4 (May 20-24): Targeting youth outdoor workers in high sun exposure environments
  • Week 5 (May 27-31): Look For the Logo Program

For daily sun awareness content, visit the campaign website Sun Safety for Every Day - Canadian Dermatology Association


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