Are You A SunSmart School?
We know we are repeating ourselves, but we really feel it is worth mentioning again how important it is to create a ‘SunSmart School’. So, while this is an abbreviated message – it’s still really important for us all. See our Primary Health and Values series for more ideas on SunSmart.
During childhood, schools have a major impact on student’s sun exposure for three reasons:
- Children are at school when ultraviolet radiation levels are at their highest;
- Schools can influence children’s behaviour through education and policy; and
- Children get as much ultraviolet radiation exposure on aschool day as they do on a weekend.
Try these checklists and see how SunSmart you are. Do you teach in a SunSmart school?
- The school has a written SunSmart policy which provides a clear statement about the school’s sun protection practices in the areas of behaviour, curriculum and environment.
- Sun protection and skin cancer awareness programs are incorporated in the school’s curriculum for all year groups.
- Promote sun protection throughout the year via the school newsletter, assemblies, daily messages, parent and staff meetings and whole school activities.
- Encourage all students and staff to wear sun protective hats, shirts with collars and sleeves and 30+ broad spectrum water resistant sunscreen whenever they are outside.
- Encourage students and staff to use shaded or covered areas at recess and lunchtime.
- Encourage positive role modelling of sun protective behaviour of all school staff, parents and guests visiting the school.
- Ensure there is adequate provision of shade within the school grounds for students and staff, by planting trees and building shade structures.
- Consider making classrooms available for students to eat lunch in and use during breaks if there is inadequate shade in the school grounds.
- Consider making the lunch break shorter and morning or afternoon recess extended to reduce exposure to midday UVR.
- Timetable as many outdoor activities as possible, including assemblies, sport and physical education before 10 a.m. and after 3 p.m. When this is not possible activities should be scheduled as far away from 12 noon as possible.
- Organise outdoor activities to be held in the areas of shade wherever possible.
- Schedule sports carnivals for the months with the least UVR, hold them indoors or outside the peak UVR period between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.