Overexposure to UV radiation during childhood and adolescence is known to be a major risk factor in the development of skin cancer. Students are at school five days each week, 40 weeks each year during the peak UV radiation times. It is essential for school communities to not only have practices in place to protect students in their care but also to educate and role model the importance of sun protection.
UV radiation is an invisible source of radiation from the sun and unlike infrared radiation (heat) we cannot feel UV on our skin. UV levels are not dependent on weather conditions. You can get sun damage on windy, cloudy and cool days. Sun damage is caused by UV radiation, not temperature or sunshine.
SunSmart Schools Program
A SunSmart School has a policy and practices in place to reduce student and educator risk of skin damage and skin cancer. Cancer Council SA recommends implementing a sun protection policy during terms 1, 3 and 4 (or from 1 August through to 30 April) and when the UV radiation level is 3 and above at other times.
SunSmart is a free award program. SunSmart recognition is awarded for a three-year period and after which time it can be renewed.
A SunSmart School is one that:
- has a comprehensive sun protection policy that meets a minimum national standard covering the areas of curriculum, behaviour and the environment
- provides, or is working towards, adequate shade facilities
- ensures students 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 School members highlight that key benefits include:
- demonstrating their commitment to the health and wellbeing of their students through signage and Cancer Council SA endorsement of their policy and practice
- better awareness and support of sun protection strategies in school community
- free teaching resources
- keeping up to date with the latest information and recommended practice
- special offers including 25% discount on sunscreen purchases
For any queries, please contact SunSmart on 08 8291 4316 or email at email@example.com