This policy applies to all school events on and off-site.
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.
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 radiation exposure for vitamin D
- assist students to be responsible for their own sun protection
Staff are encouraged to access the daily 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 one, three and four and whenever UV levels reach 3 and above at other times. A combination of skin protection measures are considered when planning outdoor events e.g. camps, excursions, sporting activities and swimming carnivals.
Sun protective clothing is included in the school uniform/dress code 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 vests or t-shirts for outdoor swimming.
- Students may provide their own SPF 30 or higher broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen and the school supplies SPF 30 or higher broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen for staff and student’s use.
- Students must apply sunscreen themselves.
- Sunscreen is applied at least twenty minutes before going outdoors and reapplied every two hours if outdoors for an extended period.
- Strategies are in place to remind children to apply before breaks ie recess and lunch and PE lessons.
- Strategies are in place to remind students to apply sunscreen before going outdoors (e.g. reminder notices, sunscreen monitors, sunscreen buddies).
- Families with children who have naturally very dark skin are encouraged to discuss their vitamin D requirements with their GP or pediatrician.
All students and staff are required to wear school hats that protect their face, neck and ears e.g. broad brimmed hats, whenever they are outside in Term 1, 3, 4 and at other times when the UV rating is 3 and above. Baseball or peak caps are not acceptable.
- 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. canteen, outdoor lesson areas and popular play areas.
- The availability of shade is considered when planning excursions and all other outdoor activities.
- Outdoor activities are scheduled outside the peak UV radiation times or in the shade where possible.
- 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 are asked to play in the shade or a suitable area protected from the sun.
5. Sunglasses [optional]
Students and staff are encouraged to wear close fitting wraparound sunglasses that meet the Australian Standard AS/NZS 1067:2003 (Sunglasses: lens category 2, 3 or 4) and cover as much of the eye area as possible. Novelty tinted glasses do not protect against UV radiation and are not recommended.
Staff WHS and role modelling
As part of WHS UV risk controls and role modelling, when the UV radiation level 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 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.
- Programs on 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 homepage, parent meetings, staff meetings, school assemblies, student and teacher activities and in student enrolment packs.
Sun protection times: The sun protection times show when the UV is forecast to be 3 and above. They can be accessed via the free SunSmart app, the free widget to place on your website (download via https://www.cancersa.org.au/cut-my-risk/sunsmart/resources/sunsmart-app-and-widget), in the weather section of the newspaper or the Bureau of Meteorology website http://www.bom.gov.au/sa/uv.
Creating effective shade: This online shade audit tool allows you to assess whether your existing shade is adequate. It also helps you develop a list of practical recommendations to improve both built and natural shade. Visit http://www.sunsmart.com.au/shade-audit.
Generation SunSmart: Fun and interactive online sun protection modules for teachers, school nurses and year 6-9 students. Visit http://www.generationsunsmart.com.au/.
SunSmart millionaire: How SunSmart are you? An innovative online game-based resource for children aged 9-13 years that promotes the science behind the SunSmart message. Visit: http://lrrpublic.cli.det.nsw.edu.au/lrrSecure/Sites/Web/sunsmart/
Policy update and 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.
Policy last reviewed May 2020. Next review May 2023.