SunSmart Policy

Endorsed by Governing Council 2017
N.B. Sun protection is used during terms 1, 3 and 4, and whenever UV levels reach 3 and above at other times.

This policy applies to all school events on and off-site.

Rationale

A balance of ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure is important for health. Too much of the sun’s UV radiation can cause sunburn, skin and eye damage and skin cancer. Sun exposure in the first ten years of life is a major factor in determining future skin cancer risk.

Too little UV radiation from the sun can lead to low vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones and muscles, and for general health.

Objectives

This SunSmart policy has been developed to:

  • encourage the entire school community to use a combination of sun protection measures whenever UV Index levels reach 3 and above
  • work towards a safe school environment that provides shade for students, staff and the school community at appropriate times
  • ensure all students and staff have some UV exposure for vitamin D
  • assist students to be responsible for their own sun protection
  • ensure that families and new staff are informed of the school’s SunSmart policy.

Staff are encouraged to access the SunSmart UV Alert at www.bom.gov.au/sa/uv to find out daily local sun protection times to assist with the implementation of this policy.

The school uses a combination of sun protection measures for all outdoor activities during terms 1, 3 and 4, and whenever UV levels reach 3 and above at other times.

Care is taken during the peak UV radiation times and outdoor activities are scheduled outside of these times where possible. Sports days and other outdoor events to be held during term 2 or earlier in the day where practical.

Clothing

Sun protective clothing is included in the school uniform/dresscode and sports uniform. The clothing is cool, loose fitting and made of closely woven fabric. It includes shirts with collars and elbow length sleeves, longer style dresses and shorts and rash tops or t-shirts for outdoor swimming.

Sunscreen

Students must provide their own SPF 30 or higher broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen and/or the school supplies SPF 30 or higher broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen for staff and student’s use.

Sunscreen is applied at least twenty minutes before going outdoors and reapplied every two hours.

Strategies are in place to remind students to apply sunscreen before going outdoors (e.g. staff reminder).

Hats

All students and staff are required to wear hats that protect their face, neck and ears e.g. legionnaire, broad brimmed or bucket hats, whenever they are outside. Baseball or peak caps are not acceptable.

Shade

A shade audit is conducted regularly to determine the current availability and quality of shade.

The school council makes sure there is a sufficient number of shelters and trees providing shade in the school grounds, particularly in areas where students congregate e.g. outdoor lesson areas and popular play areas.

The availability of shade is considered when planning excursions and all other outdoor activities.

In consultation with the school council, shade provision is considered in plans for future buildings and grounds.

Students are encouraged to use available areas of shade when outside.

Students who do not have appropriate hats or clothing must play in the shade or a suitable area protected from the sun. i.e. No Hat, No Play policy

Sunglasses [optional]

Students and staff are encouraged to wear close fitting, wraparound sunglasses that meet the Australian Standard AS/NZS 1067:2003 (Sunglasses: lens catagory 2, 3 or 4) and cover as much of the eye area as possible.

Staff WHS and role modelling

As part of WHS UV risk controls and role modelling, when the UV is 3 and above staff will:

  • wear sun protective hats, clothing and sunglasses when outside
  • apply SPF 30 or higher broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen
  • seek shade whenever possible.

Families and visitors are encouraged to role model and use a combination of sun protection measures e.g. sun protective clothing and hats, sunglasses, sunscreen and shade, when participating in and attending outdoor school activities.

Curriculum

Programs on sun prevention, skin cancer prevention and vitamin D are included in the curriculum for all year levels.

SunSmart behaviour is regularly reinforced and promoted to the whole school community through newsletters, school website, parent meetings, staff meetings, school assemblies, student and teacher activities and in student enrolment packs.

Policy review

The school council and staff regularly monitor and review the effectiveness of the SunSmart policy (at least every three years) and revise the policy when required.

For further information please visit the Cancer Council SA website at www.sunsmart.org.au