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 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 all 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, St Ita’s Primary School realises the need to protect children’s skin and educate them about SunSmart behaviour, thus reducing the risk of skin damage from exposure to the sun.Parents not wishing to comply with the sun protection policy and procedures are required to document this in writing and forward this letter to the Principal where it will be kept on file.

Aims

The policy aims to:· provide ongoing education that promotes personal responsibility for skin cancer prevention and early detection.

  • provide environments that support SunSmart practices
  • instil in children a life habit of applying sunscreen whilst outdoors in our Queensland sun

 

Procedures

Our school recognises that winter sun also contributes to skin damage. The implementation of this policy will therefore be conducted throughout the year.The purpose of the SunSmart policy is to ensure that all children attending our school are protected from the harmful effects of the sun throughout the year.Applying sunscreen before leaving for school is as important as children cleaning their teeth. The school will only provide sunscreen in emergency situations e.g. when a child has forgotten to bring sunscreen to a whole day outdoor activity.

 

Our commitment

St Ita’s School will:

  • inform parents of the SunSmart policy when they enrol their child
  • include the SunSmart policy statement in the school prospectus
  • incorporate education programs that focus on skin cancer prevention into the school curriculum e.g. Health and Physical Education and Personal Development
  • encourage all teachers and staff to act as positive role models for children in all aspects of SunSmart behaviour
  • seek ongoing support from parents and the school community for the SunSmart policy and its implementation, through newsletters, parent meetings etc.
  • ensure that all students and staff wear hats that protect the face, neck and ears, and have applied their own SPF 30 or higher, broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen, when involved in outdoor activities and remind them to top up during prolonged periods of exposure to the sun e.g. carnival days and swimming lessons
  • encourage students without adequate sun protection to use shaded or covered areas at recess and lunch times – NO HAT, NO PLAY…. NO SUNSHIRT, NO SWIMMING ( given that some students deliberately leave sunshirts at home so that they can miss swimming – a stock of second hand sunshirts will be kept in the office )
  • review the school uniform to conform with the Queensland Cancer Fund SunSmart clothing guidelines – our current school hat, uniform materials and optional St Ita’s swimsuits have a UPF rating of 50+
  • ensure that adequate shade is provided at sporting carnivals and other outdoor events
  • review the SunSmart policy as part of the Self Renewing Catholic Schools process

 

Our expectations

Parents/carers will:

  • provide a hat for their child and ensure that they wear it to and from school. (The Queensland Cancer Fund recommends the following hat which is part of the uniform code: 8-10cm broad-brimmed)
  • ensure that their child applies SPF30 or higher, broad-spectrum sunscreen 20 minutes before leaving for school
  • teach their children how to apply sunscreen correctly
  • ensure that their child has sunblock in their bags before leaving home
  • provide sunglasses as an optional part of the school uniform
  • act as positive role models by practising SunSmart behaviour
  • support the school’s SunSmart policy

 

Students will:

  • be aware of the school’s SunSmart policy
  • take responsibility for their own health and safety by being SunSmart
  • 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 SunSmart behaviour
  • participate in SunSmart education programs.