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Coppertone encourages parents to protect children from UV rays year-round

BY Jason Owen

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. — Merck Consumer Care, the makers of Coppertone, launched today the "Making the Sunscreen Grade" program to equip parents with tools to help their children develop lifelong sun habits, including those that protect them from the sun during the school day. The need for the program is reinforced by a recent national survey conducted for the brand, where among other results, nearly two-thirds of Americans did not know that many U.S. schools have rules and restrictions around the usage of sunscreen because it is an over-the-counter drug.

Currently, policies about sun protection, including sunscreen application, vary from state to state, and potentially even within school districts. According to the survey, Americans favor using a variety of sun protection methods in school. In fact, two out of three (67%) agree or strongly agree they would like to see schools promote the use of sunglasses, hats and sun-protective clothing during outdoor activities. Additionally, 80% of those surveyed agree or strongly agree that schools should work with parents to make it easy for children to be protected from the sun.

Although parents may be applying sunscreen to their children before they go to school, ideally it should be reapplied by the time a midday recess begins, to help reduce the risk of unsafe sun exposure and sunburns. Some schools only allow sunscreen application with written permission from a child’s parent or a physician, or both. Additional reasons for rules around sun protection may include the risk for a potential allergic reaction, the question of school staff applying sunscreen to students, and in some cases, the potential cost of implementing a sun protection program.

"School officials and parents recognize the importance of protecting children from the sun, but they may find policies and regulations tricky to navigate if they aren’t well informed about them first," said Ana M. Duarte, division director of Dermatology at Miami Children’s Hospital and consultant to Coppertone. "I’m excited to be a part of the ‘Making the Sunscreen Grade’ program. It educates parents about steps they can take to help protect their children during the day and invites them to partner with their schools to make sun protection and sunscreen reapplication a priority."

The "Making the Sunscreen Grade" program provides tools to help educate parents on the importance of sun protection during the school day and year-round. Starting today, a downloadable sun protection guide is available in English and Spanish at Coppertone.com. Beginning May 1, Coppertone distributed the guide to a half-million households across 10 U.S. regions.

For more information on the "Making the Sunscreen Grade" program, please visit the Coppertone website at Coppertone.com.


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Wireless pill bottle wins Boehringer Ingelheim-sponsored healthcare innovation contest

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — The makers of a pill bottle that uses wireless technology to keep patients adherent won the grand prize at a recent healthcare innovation contest.

AdhereTech developers Josh Stein, John Langhauser and Mike Morena will receive $50,000 in prize money as winners in the Healthcare Innovation World Cup, an international diabetes innovation challenge funded by Boehringer Ingelheim and organized by HITLAB.

The pill bottle measures the exact number of pills inside in real time and uses HIPAA-compliant wireless technology to send the data to the cloud, with patients receiving automated phone calls or text messages reminding them to take their medications.

"We are impressed with AdhereTech’s prototype and the feasibility of their business model, and believe the solution has merit in supporting medication adherence," Boehringer Ingelheim SVP PM business development and licensing strategy and contest judge Klaus Wilgenbus said. "All of the finalists demonstrated outstanding quality and ingenuity in developing their solutions."

 

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D.C. municipal buildings to display calorie information on vending machines

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — The mayor of the nation’s capital announced Thursday plans to include calorie information on vending machines in municipal buildings.

Washington mayor Vincent Gray said the rollout of the Calories Count Vending Program would give workers and visitors the information they need to make wise lifestyle choices and would ultimately help reduce healthcare costs.

"This program is a great example of a public-private partnership that empowers consumers," Gray said.

The program, launched in municipal buildings in Chicago and San Antonio last year, receives support from the National Automatic Merchandising Association and will start appearing in Washington next month.

"America’s leading beverage companies are committed to being part of meaningful solutions to the public health challenge of obesity, and working with Mayor Gray to bring the Calories Count Vending Program to city employees is an important part of addressing that challenge," American Beverage Association president and CEO Susan Neely said.

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