Sun exposure in childhood and adolescence greatly increases the chances of developing skin cancer later in life.
Skin cancer is one of the most preventable cancers. It is recommended that all early childhood services develop and implement a comprehensive, evidence-based sun protection policy to reduce UV exposure and associated risks.
Research shows services with a written sun protection policy have the greatest number of children and staff protecting themselves from the sun.
The SunSmart Early Childhood program aims to minimise exposure to UV radiation from the sun during the early years.
SunSmart membership is associated with significant improvements in the quality of policies and strategies to reduce sun exposure.
Why become a SunSmart Early Childhood Service?
The Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority’s National Quality Standard requires all childcare services to have a sun protection policy. Early childhood services have a duty of care to minimise children’s exposure to the sun and provide an environment that includes shade and encourages sun protection behaviours.
The SunSmart Early Childhood program assists early childhood services to develop and maintain sun protection policies and put them into action.
Joining the SunSmart program demonstrates a commitment to securing the future health and well-being of children and staff.
SunSmart members comply with the following minimum standards:
- A sun protection policy is implemented whenever the UV Index reaches 3 or above
- All children and staff wear a broad brimmed, legionnaire or bucket hat when outside
- The use of SPF30 or higher broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen is required
- Sun protective covering clothing is required
- Play experiences about sun protection are included in the education program
- The sun protection policy is reflected in the planning of all outdoor events
- The service has sufficient shade or is working towards increasing shade in the outdoor play space
- The service reviews its sun protection policy regularly
To learn more about the SunSmart Early Childhood Program visit Cancer Council’s National SunSmart Early Childhood Program, contact your local Cancer Council or call 13 11 20.
Visit Generation SunSmart for Online Learning Modules available for early childhood and school staff.