Coppertone® Launches the Protect What Matters Most Initiative to Empower Kids to Rethink Sun Safety and Take Action

As skin cancer rates continue to rise, the time is right for Coppertone® to help impact positive change – starting with the next generation of young Americans. Coppertone® is launching its Protect What Matters Most campaign in partnership with 4-H, the nation’s largest youth development organization, to educate kids on the importance of protecting their skin every day – rain or shine. For decades, Coppertone® has made it their number one priority to ensure people can enjoy their time outdoors with a wide range of quality sunscreens. This new educational advocacy program aims to inspire kids and families to adopt healthy sun-safe behaviors in an exciting, actionable way.

Dr. Elizabeth Hale is joining the charge not only as a leading dermatologist and national advocate for pediatric skin safety, but also as a mother who understands the challenges of everyday sun protection for kids and families alike.

“As a dermatologist, patients come to me all the time saying, ‘I wish I wore more sunscreen when I was younger,'” said Dr. Hale. “Sun safety habits start at home and they start early. We want to arm parents and children with sun protection tools, empowering them to practice sun-safe behaviors for life.”

To further excite and drive participation amongst 4-H members, Coppertone® and 4-H developed the national Sun Smarts Challenge, a competition that empowers 4-H youth to share creative ways to incorporate sun safety into their everyday lives. Coppertone® will help three winners turn their ideas into reality with a $10,000 grant awarded to a 4-H summer camp in one of the areas most affected by rising melanoma rates. The three 4-H winners will also receive a $1,000 cash stipend and their winning solutions will be shared on the 4-H website so families across the country can benefit from these sun smart ideas.

“Coppertone® has been committed to innovative sun protection for over 40 years, and we’re thrilled to continue that focus by inspiring change led by the youth in our communities. Like how we teach our kids to wear a helmet when riding their bike or skateboarding – we need to apply this same thinking to sun safety and start early,” said Teresa Gonzalez Ruiz, Vice President of Suncare Marketing at Bayer Consumer Healthcare. Jennifer Sirangelo, president and CEO, National 4‑H Council added, “Encouraging kids to live healthy lives outdoors and inspiring their innovative ideas through science and youth leadership is at the core of what we do. With the support of Coppertone®, young people are getting the opportunity to make a lifelong impact on their lives and communities.”

Kids and families nationwide will also receive online access to educational sun safety materials at Customized for all age groups, the Sun Smarts resources are a collaboration between Coppertone®, 4-H, and Dr. Hale. It includes an activity guide for kids to test their sun safety knowledge, social assets to connect with teens, and important tips for parents so families can learn together. The Sun Smarts materials are vital to educate on the importance of daily sun protection to instill sun-safe behaviors today and all the days to come. 

Coppertone® has a legacy of leadership and advocacy in the sun protection space, having pioneered the concept of SPF for measuring sun protection in 1974. The brand is working state by state to help change laws that currently prevent children from bringing sunscreen to schools in almost 80% of the country. And through the 4-H partnership, Coppertone® will identify communities that can benefit the most from the brand’s BrightGuard partnership to provide free public access to sunscreen; 5,000 sampling kiosks will be set up in locations such as outdoor stadiums and concerts, as well as parks across the country. True to the brand, they have taken on this commitment to protect what matters most — our children.


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