LEGO: Make your beach sets #SunSmart
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We, the undersigned, respectfully ask the LEGO Group to please help teach kids to stay safe when playing in the sun, by making any future LEGO beach sets #SunSmart.
Why? Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the world
The incidence of skin cancer has been rapidly rising over the last 30 years as ozone levels have decreased, allowing more harmful solar UV radiation to reach the Earth's surface. It is now the most common form of cancer globally – five times higher than breast or prostate cancer, and higher than all other cancers combined (read more here). So it is more important than ever to teach everyone, particularly children, about the importance of protecting their skin when in the sun.
This is not just a southern hemisphere issue – it’s Denmark's too!
Australia and New Zealand have the highest incidences of skin cancer in the world. But the northern hemisphere is not immune to this issue. Denmark (the home of LEGO and Australia’s Princess Mary) has the 4th highest rate of melanoma IN. THE. WORLD. Norway is 3rd highest, the Netherlands the 5th highest, Sweden the 6th, and so on.
We urgently need to teach kids about sun protection
Given the rapidly rising rates of skin cancer, it has become urgent to educate everyone about the dangers of too much exposure to the sun. In particular, we need to teach our kids about the importance of wearing sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, and long sleeve clothing, when playing in the sun. If we can do that, we can build lifelong life-saving habits. #SunSmart kids will turn into #SunSmart adults.
LEGO, you can help
As any parent who has been to the beach knows, it’s hard to convince children to put on sunscreen. But if our kids could play with LEGO minifigures depicting their heroes wearing sunscreen when they're at the beach, then they will more likely be willing or even eager to wear sunscreen. Currently, you don't have such minifigures.
However, it wouldn't take much to change the situation. All it would require is adding two white lines under the eyes of any future beach minifigures to indicate that these heroes are being sun safe (such as these heroes my then 6-year old son and I commissioned when I was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma). You could go further by making your beach minifigures wear sunglasses, or use umbrellas, or wear long sleeve rashies. Slip, slop slap! as us Aussies say. You could go even further and have sunscreen and sunscreen bottles in your lakeside, riverside, seaside, and even snowfields sets (snow almost DOUBLES a person's sun exposure as UV radiation is reflected off the snow).
LEGO is about fun, learning, and caring
In fact fun, learning, and caring are part of your stated values as a company. All we ask is that you step up and live those values and make this very small change to any of your future beach sets. If you do, we guarantee you, you will be saving lives.
So LEGO, please make any future beach sets #SunSmart and help save lives
Thank you in advance,
Damien MacRae, Aiden Francis, and supporters
PS: If you're so inclined, you might want to reconsider an Aussie lifesaver beach scene. I'm sure your pro designers can come up with a better version than ours (more realistic, more cost-effective, etc).
PPS: While you're at it I'm sure a #SunSmart beach set would work in the Duplo universe as well. You are never too young to learn about the basics of sun protection!
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