“No hat, no play, no school today!” We definitely don’t agree that a hat will prevent your child from attending childcare, however, as the weather starts warming up and the sun starts peeking in, it’s time to think seriously about sun safety.
Every year in Australia skin cancers account for around 80 per cent of all newly diagnosed cancers, and between 95 and 99 per cent of skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun.*
“Early sun exposure can cause a lifetime risk of skin cancer,” says Education Manager Fiona Young.
“Children and babies’ delicate skin makes them susceptible to sunburn and short term skin damage.”
That’s why at Lifelong Learning Centres we have built a Sun Protection and Extreme Heat Procedure that aligns with Cancer Council Australia guidelines.
We also love to engage the children in their own sun safety journey and use it as a Lifelong Learning experience.
Educators and children are asked to access either of the following sources every morning to identify the expected local UV rating and recommended sun protection times:
From here our Educators use the information gathered to plan their outdoor activities for the day to make sure all children are adequately protected from the sun without missing out on that all important outdoor recreation time.
All Lifelong Learning Centre Managers are responsible for making sure there is always plenty of shade when the children are outdoors playing or exploring. This can be done either naturally or with the use of buildings or umbrellas.
It’s not just our children and Educators we aim to protect either. All Educators, children and visitors are required to wear hats that protect their faces, ears and necks when visiting our centres and taking part in our fun outdoor programs. Aligning with Cancer Council Australia's guidelines ‘sun safe’ hats are wide-brimmed hat or bucket hats with a brim spanning 5-6cms for children and 6-7.5cms for adults. We also accept Legionnaire hats, however, caps and visors aren’t permitted.
As well a protection for our heads, it is essential to make sure the rest of our bodies are also protected. Educators at our centres must follow the uniform policy while children are required to wear sun safe clothing if they are to join in outdoor play.
Last but certainly not least, we have sunscreen!
When you fill out an enrolment form for one of our centres there is a section where we ask permission to apply sunscreen onto your child.
All our centres provide an SPF30+ or higher broad-spectrum, water resistant sunscreen which can be applied to children if permitted.
Meanwhile, families are also more than welcome to supply their own preferred sunscreen if they would like.
For babies, we understand that their skin is sensitive when they are under 12 months old so measures will be taken to keep them protected with shade and clothing. Where this isn’t enough protection, educators, with parental permission may apply sunscreen to a very small area of the baby’s skin.
If you want more information surrounding our Sun Protection and Extreme Heat Procedure speak to our Family Support Team on 1800 CHILDCARE.
* Source - Cancer Council Australia