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Lurnea Public School

Lurnea Public School

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Sun Smart

The incidence of skin cancer in Australia is a matter of concern for the whole community, including schools. Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world with  one in two Australians developing some form of skin cancer during their lifetime.

Our school takes sun safety seriously and runs programs designed to make students aware of the damaging effects of the sun.

Skin damage in childhood

Much of the sun exposure that causes skin damage occurs during childhood and adolescence. By the age of 15 many children have developed irreversible skin damage from exposure to the sun.

Five major factors in Australia contribute to high rates of sun damage:

  • a large proportion of the population has fair skin
  • ultraviolet radiation (UVR) from the sun is of high intensity
  • lifestyle, work, school and recreational practices may expose us to the sun frequently and for long periods
  • a suntan is seen by many as healthy and attractive
  • exposure of the skin to the sun is common during peak UVR times.

Stay in the shade

Students are encouraged to protect their skin by:

  • reducing their exposure to the sun, wherever possible
  • wearing broad-brimmed hats in the playground to protect the face, neck and ears, and playing in shaded areas. Some primary schools have adopted a 'No hat, play in the shade' policy for recess and lunchtimes
  • wearing clothing (preferably of closely woven fabric) with collars and long sleeves to provide maximum sun protection
  • remaining in the shade whenever possible, particularly during peak UVR times
  • participating in sun protection activities
  • using 30+ broad-spectrum, water resistant sunscreen as an adjunct to other sun protection measures.

Sunscreens should be applied before going outside and reapplied frequently as directed by the manufacturer.

Sun safety is also important outside of school. Whether in the backyard or on the beach, children should wear a hat and sunscreen. By practising sun safety at home, parents and caregivers can help teachers to enforce sun safety rules in school.

Children will come to appreciate the importance of sun protection not only during their schooling, but also throughout their life.

Covered Outdoor Learning Areas (COLA)

COLAs or Covered Outdoor Learning Areas are multi-purpose structures that provide sun and rain protection, and additional learning space such an outdoor assembly area, an extension of the communal hall or a covered canteen area. COLAs also provide a refuge for children excluded from playing in the sun under the 'No hat, play in the shade' rule.

The Cancer Council recommends you protect yourself in 5 ways:

  • Slip on clothing that covers your arms and legs
  • Slap on a broad brimmed or legionnaires hat
  • Slop on 30+, broad-spectrum sunscreen
  • Seek shade
  • Slide on wrap around sunglasses

More information

Test your Sun Safety knowledge below

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