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 Sun Protection

thumb_SunProtection.jpgMarymount Primary values sun safety. Within play areas their are options for the children to be in shaded areas. Our school rules make wearing a hat compulsory at morning tea and lunchtime. We strongly recommend that hats are also worn before and after school and that sunscreen be applied at home each morning and reapplied at morning tea and lunch time.

Sunsmart Policy Statement

Rationale

Queensland has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world. Two out of every three Queenslanders will develop some sort of skin cancer in their lifetime. Research suggests that at least two-thirds of cancerous melanomas occurring in Australia could be prevented if children were protected from the sun during their first 15 years.

Skin damage, including skin cancer, is the result of cumulative exposure to the sun. Research shows that severe sunburn contributes to skin cancer and other forms of skin damage such as sunspots, blemishes and premature ageing. Most skin damage and skin cancer is therefore preventable.

Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) levels are highest during the hours that children are at school. With this in mind, Marymount Primary School realises the need to protect children's skin and educate them about Sun Smart behaviour, thus reducing the risk of skin damage and exposure to the sun.

Aims

The policy aims to:

  • provide ongoing education that promotes personal responsibility for skin cancer proven and early detection.
  • provide environments that support Sun Smart practices.
  • create an awareness of the need to reschedule work commitments and outdoor activities support Sun Smart practices.

Procedures

Our school recognises that winter sun also contributes to skin damage. The implementation of the policy will therefore be conducted throughout the year. The purpose of the Sun Smart policy is to ensure that all children attending our school are protected from the harmful effects of the sun throughout the year. Our commitment is to inform parents of the Sun Smart policy when they enrol their child and to include the Sun Smart policy statement in the school prospectus. We will also minimise the risk of sun damage to our students by

  • increasing the amount of shade in the school grounds, where possible, by building shelters etc.
  • planting trees.
  • incorporating education programs that focus on skin cancer prevention into the school curriculum.
  • encouraging all teachers and staff to act as positive role models for children in all aspects of Sun Smart behaviour.
  • seeking ongoing support from parents and the school community for the Sun Smart policy and implementation, through newsletters, parent meetings etc.
  • ensuring that all students and staff wear hats that protect the face, neck and ears, and SPF.
  • reviewing the school uniform to conform with the Queensland Cancer Fund Sun Smart clothing.

Guidelines

Schools Should

  • incorporate a Sun Smart swimsuit into the school uniform
  • ensure that, wherever practicable, outdoor activities take place before 10am or after 2pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time [AEST])
  • ensure that adequate shade is provided at sporting carnivals and other outdoor events
  • review the Sun Smart policy annually.

Our expectations are that Parents / carers will -

  • provide a Sun Smart hat for their child and ensure that they wear it to and from school. (The Queensland Cancer Fund recommends the following hats; broad-brimmed legionnaire-style)
  • ensure that their child applies SPF15 or higher, broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen 20 minutes before leaving for school
  • ensure that their child\'s clothing provides adequate protection from UVR. The Queensland Cancer Fund recommends clothing that has the following features ( dark-coloured collars and sleeves: closely woven fabric: natural fibre.
  • act as positive role models by practising Sun Smart behaviour.
  • support the school's Sun Smart policy and help to design and regularly update the policy;
Students will -
  • be aware of the school's Sun Smart policy.
  • take responsibility for their own health and safety by being Sun Smart.
  • comply with Sun Smart rules and guidelines by wearing suitable hats, clothing, sunscreen and sunglasses.
  • apply SPF 15 broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen 20 minutes before going outdoors.
  • act as positive role models for other students in all aspects of Sun Smart behaviour.
  • help to design and regularly update the SunSmart policy.
  • participate in Sun Smart education programs.

The Queensland Cancer Fund working towards a Sun Smart Queensland: a policy guide for organisations