Excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) from the sun causes sunburn, skin damage and increases the risk of skin cancer. New Zealand, along with Australia, has the highest melanoma rates in the world. One or more episodes of sunburn in childhood and adolescence have been shown to increase the risk of melanoma later in life.
This policy is followed whenever ultraviolet index (UVI) levels reach 3 and above. For most parts of New Zealand this is from the beginning of September until the end of March, especially between 11 am and 4 pm.
The Cancer Society recognises that a balance is required between avoiding an increase in the risk of skin cancer and getting enough sun exposure for children to maintain adequate vitamin D levels, particularly in the winter months. Between April and August the UVI is 3 or under in most parts of New Zealand, especially in the south, so it is recommended that children do NOT wear sunscreen or play in the shade during these months. During the winter months, encourage children to actively enjoy the sun.
This policy is adopted from 1 January 2012 so that children attending The Cottage Kindergarten are protected from harmful UVR from the sun.
The Cottage Kindergarten SunSmart policy has been developed to ensure that all children and staff are protected from damaging levels of UVR from the sun.
Our Sun Protection strategies:
All children and staff use a combination of sun protection measures whenever UV Index levels are 3 and above. Particular care is taken during the daylight savings months (between 11 am and 4 pm) when UV levels reach their peak. Generally we are inside between 12.00 am and 1.00pm.
There are natural shelters (eg trees) and other shade areas providing enough coverage for all children playing outside.
The availability of shade is considered when planning excursions and outdoor activities.
Children are encouraged to use available areas of shade when outside.
When outside, it is recommended that children wear loose fitting clothing that covers as much skin as possible. Tops with elbow length sleeves, and if possible, collars and knee length or longer style shorts and skirts are best.
It is recommended that children wear hats that protect their face, neck and ears, i.e. legionnaire, broadbrimmed (min 7.5 cms brim) or deep crown bucket hat (minimum 5 cm brim). (Please note: Baseball caps do not offer enough protection and are therefore not recommended during the peak of summer.) It is recommended that each child has their own personal named sunhat from home, these can be left at the centre or brought each day. Hats must be worn during outside play for the duration of term 4 and term 1.
It is recommended that SPF 30+, broad spectrum sunscreen is available for staff and children’s use. Sunscreen is applied at after morning tea and lunch, approximately 10.30 and 1pm. If children are playing in water, sunscreen must also be water resistant.
A good hat significantly reduces the level of UVR reaching the eyes. If parents want their children to also wear sunglasses, these should be close fitting and cover as much of the eye area as possible. Sunglasses should meet the Aus/NZ Standard 1067.
Children who do not have appropriate hats or outdoor clothing, are required to play indoors.
Staff act as role models by:
• wearing sun protective hats and clothing, and sunglasses when outside
• applying SPF 30+ broad spectrum sunscreen
• seeking shade whenever possible
Sharing Information about Sun Protection
The children learn about skin and ways to protect their skin from the sun. The sun protection policy is reinforced through staff and children’s activities. Staff and families are provided with information on sun protection at enrolment and through family newsletters, notice boards and meetings.
When enrolling their child, families are:
• Informed of our sun protection policy
• Asked to ensure their child wears sun protective clothing and to provide a suitable hat
• Asked to provide SPF 30+, broad spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen for their child if they wish.
• Required to give permission for staff to apply sunscreen to their child
• Encouraged to practice SunSmart behaviours themselves when at the centre and in the home environment.
Review date: 1/10/19
This policy has been based on the recommendations of CANCER SOCIETY OF NEW ZEALAND – TE ROPU- MATE PUKUPUKU O AOTEAROA SUN PROTECTION POLICY EARLY CHILDHOOD http://www.cancernz.org.nz
For further information about sun protection, please contact your local Cancer Society or email Cancer Society at: firstname.lastname@example.org.