Being SunSmart means a balance between sun protection to lower the risk of skin cancer and sun exposure for the production and maintenance of vitamin D. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is both the major cause of skin cancer and the best natural source of vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for the development of strong bones and muscles. Overexposure to UV radiation from the sun causes permanent skin damage, with childhood and adolescence being critical times when this exposure is more likely to contribute to skin cancer later in life, so it is important for children to be protected from overexposure to UV radiation.
How are out of school hours care services unique?
When it comes to being SunSmart, out of school hours care services are unique settings as they operate outside of the peak UV times of the day. It is, however, important for services to be aware of the times of day they should be implementing sun protection, as UV levels can still be 3 and above during OSHC hours, placing children and staff at risk of skin damage.
Procedures for before school and after school care services
Before school care services do not need to implement sun protection practices as the UV radiation levels rarely reach 3 and above during this time.
After school care services should have an active sun protection policy in place during terms 1 and 4, and when the UV is 3 and above at other times. It is important to monitor the daily UV radiation levels and sun protection times at your location to determine if and when children and staff are required to use sun protection during these terms. Sun protection times vary depending on the time of year and the location, and can be accessed via the a sun protection policy which ensures that children, staff and visitors use a combination of sun protection practices during terms 1 and 4 and when the UV is 3 and above at other times. It is important to monitor the UV radiation levels and sun protection times at your location daily to determine if and when children and staff are required to use sun protection. Sun protection times vary depending on the time of year and the location and can be accessed via the Bureau of Meteorology or the SunSmart app.
Procedures for vacation care services
Vacation care services should have an active sun protection policy from 1 August until 30 April, and when the UV radiation levels are 3 and above at other times. Sun protection times vary depending on the time of year and the location, and can be accessed via the Bureau of Meteorology or the SunSmart app.
SunSmart Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) and Vacation Care Program
A SunSmart OSHC and Vacation Care service has policy and practices in place that recognise the balance between sun protection to reduce the risk of skin damage and sun exposure for vitamin D production.
Cancer Council SA recommends that all OSHC and vacation care services develop and implement comprehensive sun protection policies that not only protect the children and staff in their care from overexposure to UV radiation, but also meet their duty of care for children and WH&S for staff.
A SunSmart OSHC and Vacation Care service is one that:
- has a comprehensive sun protection policy that meets a minimum standard covering the areas of sun protective behaviour, outdoor activities and the environment
- provides, or is working towards, adequate shade facilities
- ensures children and staff are well protected when the UV radiation level is 3 and above, particularly during peak UV times of the day
- teaches, role models and reinforces positive sun protection behaviours
- agrees to undertake three-yearly policy reviews with Cancer Council SA to ensure policy and practice stay up to date with the national standard
SunSmart members highlight that key benefits include:
- demonstrating their commitment to the health and wellbeing of their children through a certificate and Cancer Council SA endorsement of their policy and practice
- better awareness and support of sun protection strategies in the community
- free teaching resources
- keeping up to date with the latest information and recommended practice
- special offers including 25 per cent discount on sunscreen purchases
Contact SunSmart on 08 8291 4265 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.