Lifestyle

Kindy kids learn value of sun safety message

Rob Williams

AN IPSWICH kindergarten has emerged as a leader in sun protection, after a Cancer Council report revealed only 39% of Queensland primary schools identified as being SunSmart.

Cancer Council Queensland (CCQ) said C&K West Moreton Community Kindergarten's sun protection policy could be replicated in other Ipswich schools and centres, helping the region to combat shocking cancer statistics.

CCQ praised centre staff's work to encourage children and parents to Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide - five methods of sun protection to reduce the risk of skin cancer.

Kindergarten director Carolyn Symonds said the centre had worked hard to improve SunSmart behaviours in the community.

"We take sun safety very seriously and believe parents and staff members have a shared responsibility in protecting children from exposure to the sun," Ms Symonds said.

"Children are taught how to apply sunscreen through modelling and demonstration and always wear broad-brimmed hats during outside play. We also sell Cancer Council sunscreens at the centre to ensure each child has their individual roll-on sunscreen."

CCQ spokeswoman Katie Clift said such initiatives were needed, especially in Queensland, the state with the highest rate of skin cancer in the world.

"Skin cancers account for 80% of all new cancers diagnosed each year in Australia, making it by far the most common cancer diagnosed," Ms Clift said.

Find out more about being SunSmart at cancerqld.org.au.

 

Be sunsmart

Sun protection is required when the UV Index is at three and above. In Queensland the index is at three or above year-round.

Use all five methods of sun protection: wearing protective clothing, sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and seeking shelter in the shade.

Primary schools can apply to join the free National SunSmart School Program via the CCQ website. See more details at cancerqld.org.au.

Topics:  children, health, melanoma, skin cancer, sunburn



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