Calling All Sun Smart Schools

Every time I hear the words, I see a singing, dancing seagull sporting a broad-brimmed hat and oversized sun protective t-shirt!

I bet I’ve got you humming the tune now too…

We’ve heard about the importance of being SunSmart for decades – new research is confirming we’ve heeded the message too – for one, we’re seeing rates of invasive melanoma decrease for people aged under 40 in Queensland – a huge win for our health.

And now, it’s time for schools to step up.

High levels of sun exposure in childhood increase the risk of developing skin cancer later in life. It’s imperative that we as parents keep our kids sun safe, and ensure the early childhood centre or school we send them to follows suit.

We all need to Slip on protective clothing, Slop on SPF30 or above broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen, Slap on a broad-brimmed hat, Seek shade and Slide on wrap-around sunglasses to reduce our skin cancer risk.

Cancer Council Queensland runs a National SunSmart Schools and Early Childhood Centres Program – assisting schools and early childhood centres to develop SunSmart policies that keep children safe from increased sun exposure.

Currently, only 30 per cent of the state’s primary schools are registered with the program – even though Queensland has the highest rates of skin cancer in the world.

So, what can you do to help?

Let your school or early childhood centre know about the National SunSmart Schools and Early Childhood Centres Program, found on the CCQ website here.

The program is free to join, and those awarded SunSmart status receive, among important resources and the iconic SunSmart metal sign, the knowledge that they are doing their part to best protect Queensland kids from skin cancer.

CCQ is currently running an online competition too, for the state’s primary schools, early childhood centres and Outside School Hours Care facilities to showcase and celebrate their SunSmart status!

A radio interview, feature on the CCQ dedicated schools’ website, post on the CCQ Facebook page and a carton of Cancer Council SPF30 sunscreen are up for grabs!

You can help your child stay SunSmart at school too by packing small tubes of sunscreen in their lunchbox, ensuring they have a wide-brimmed hat for outside play and encouraging them to seek shade when outdoors.

For more SunSmart tips, information on the SunSmart Shop and how to reduce your skin cancer risk, visit www.cancerqld.org.au or call the Cancer Council Helpline on 13 11 20.

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