Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world. Overexposure to the sun during childhood and adolescent is an important contributing factor to the development of skin cancer later in life. As students are at school during times of peak ultraviolet (UV) radiation, schools can play a major role in creating a supportive environment that minimises exposure and encourages sun protective behaviours.
Our sun protection policy has been adopted to ensure that all students, staff, parents and visitors attending Mukinbudin District High School are protected from skin damage caused by UV radiation from the sun. This policy is to be implemented in all school terms as the UV index for our area is generally higher than 3 and also to develop positive SunSmart habits. The sun protection practices outlined in this policy will be applied to all school activities, including sports carnivals, excursions and camps. The policy has been developed in consultation with the whole school community.
Mukinbudin District High School will:
- Inform parents of this sun protection policy when they enrol their child/children.
- Brief all new staff on the sun protection policy.
- Promote sun protection via newsletters, assemblies, daily messages, whole school activities, and parent and staff meetings.
- Require students to wear bottle green bucket, broad-brimmed, or legionnaire hats when outside, the school preference being the School Council approved school uniform bucket hat available through the P&C from the Front Office at the school.
- Direct students without a broad-brimmed, bucket or legionnaire hat to stay in an area that is protected from the sun. Currently this is the verandah on the south side of the primary block for primary students and the undercover area for secondary students.
- Require staff to wear broad-brimmed, legionnaire or bucket hats for all outdoor activities, including yard duty.
- Encourage parents and guests to wear bucket, broad-brimmed or legionnaire style hats, preferably the school one, when participating in and attending outdoor school activities.
- Require students to wear broad-brimmed or bucket hats, sun protective clothing and sunscreen for all camps, sports and excursions. These items will be listed on the forms sent to parents and caregivers.
- Require staff and students to wear a swim (rash) top for swimming/water activities, although not required during actual competitive swimming events at carnivals.
- Have a school dress code that include sun protective items such as shirts with collars and longer sleeves, bucket hats and swim tops for swimming/water activities.
- Encourage students, staff and parents to wear appropriate, sun-protective eyewear when outside.
- Ensure there is adequate provision of shade within the school grounds for students and staff, by planting trees and building shade structures, particularly in areas where students congregate, for example, lunch, canteen, outdoor lesson areas.
- Encourage staff and students to use shaded or covered areas when outside.
- Ensure that adequate shade is provided at sporting carnivals and outdoor events.
- Where staffing constraints allow, timetable as many outdoor activities - including assemblies, sport and physical education – as far from 12 noon as possible. As PE sessions may have to be scheduled over all periods, consideration will be given to activities that can be conducted under shaded areas.
- Encourage the use of SPF 30+ broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen by:
- providing sunscreen in the classrooms and at school events
- allowing students time to apply sunscreen 20 minutes prior to outdoor activities e.g. prior to school, before lunch, PE lessons, sports, excursions etc
- directing students to reapply sunscreen at regular intervals during outdoor activities and events
- Incorporate sun protection and skin cancer awareness programs into the appropriate Key Learning Areas of the school curriculum.
- Assist students to develop strategies that encourage responsible decision making about skin protection.
- Review the sun protection policy annually.
- Ensure your child/children has a bottle green bucket, broad-brimmed or legionnaire style hat. Cancer Council WA recommends the following hats:
- bucket/surfie-style (6 cm brim)
- broad-brimmed (7.5 cm brim)
These are available through the P&C from the Front Office at the school.
- Ensure that your child/children’s clothing provides adequate protection from UV radiation. Cancer Council WA recommends the following:
- collars and sleeves
- closely woven fabric
- natural fibre
- swim (rash) tops for swimming.
School Council approved uniform items available from local suppliers, P&C and the Mukinbudin Swimming Club meet these guidelines.
- Ensure that your child/children has/have access to SPF 30+ broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen before leaving for school.
- Act as positive role models by practising SunSmart behaviour.
- Support the school’s sun protection policy, and help design and regularly update the policy.
- Be aware of the school’s sun protection policy.
- Take responsibility for their health by being SunSmart.
- Comply with SunSmart rules and guidelines by wearing suitable hats and clothing.
- Apply SPF30+ broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen 20 minutes before going outdoors.
- Use shaded or covered areas outdoors.
- Act as positive role models for other students in all aspects of SunSmart behaviour.
- Be actively involved in initiatives to protect the school community from over-exposure to the sun.
- Help design and regularly update the SunSmart policy.
- Participate in SunSmart education programs.
The Mukinbudin DHS SunSmart Committee, P&C and School Council will review the effectiveness of this policy each year and make any necessary changes.
1. Review the SunSmart behaviour of students, staff, parents, and visitors and make recommendations for improvement.
2. Assess shade provision and usage and make recommendations for increases in shade provision.
3. Update and promote curriculum material relevant to SunSmart activities.
Date: July 2013 Signed: G.Stevens Position: Principal
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