Staying safe in the sun is something that adults with red hair know only too well about. It takes only one bad sunburn to shock redheads into realising how delicate their pale skin is and how sensitive they are to the sun’s harmful rays.
But as a child, keeping safe in the sun feels like an unnecessary burden, with kids not understanding the severe consequences of sun burn and over-exposure to UV rays.
One blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence can more than double a person’s chances of developing melanoma later in life, with natural redheads at even higher risk.
And as summer brings longer and warmer days, outdoor play becomes an even bigger part of daily life at school, so it’s crucial that kids learn to be responsible while having fun in the sun.
Currently it is not mandatory to have a sun safe policy in schools or to teach sun safety on the UK national curriculum, so Skcin (The Karen Clifford Skin Cancer Charity) launched the Sun Safe Schools and Nurseries schemes across the UK, the first and only initiatives in the country to dedicate themselves to preventing skin cancer through education.
The FREE schemes provide comprehensive information about sun safety for children and their teachers/carers while they’re at school and nursery, so that children can learn about the dangers of too much sun and how to enjoy the sun safely and protect themselves, whilst the school/nursery can work towards gaining their sun safe accreditation.
Through the use of fun activities, the Sun Safe Schools and Nurseries award schemes aim to plant the seeds of sun safety not just at home, but also in the classroom, to last for life. They combine the duties of both parents and schools to ensure that children grow up with a knowledge of sun safety, and that they are adequately protected against solar UV radiation during school and nursery hours.
The Sun Safe Schools and Nurseries packs contain all sorts of fun and engaging information about sun protection, including songs and music, worksheets, stickers, competitions, posters and certificates. One other fun resource is a storybook called ‘George the Sun Safe Superstar!’
The rhyming storybook delivers simple and exciting methods to remember the key elements of protecting yourself in the sun with George’s Sun Safe Rule. This follows the 5 S’s: SLIP (on a t-shirt), SLOP (on sunscreen), SLAP (on a hat), SLIDE on sunglasses, and SEEK shade.
The Sun Safe initiatives were launched by UK skin cancer charity Skcin in 2013 and are kindly supported by Superdrug, in the effort to reverse the compelling incidence rates of skin cancer in the UK, and to positively impact the lives of future generations.
With more than 1,000 schools signing up in 2013, it’s high time that more parents and teachers ensure that Sun Safe Schools and Nurseries initiatives are carried out in their child’s school.
By taking part, schools and nurseries will be accredited by the Sun Safe scheme to ensure the continuation of sun safe practices year on year.
Both Sun Safe schemes are kindly supported by Superdrug, and are accredited by Skcin (The Karen Clifford Skin Cancer Charity), the UK’s only skin cancer specific charity, raising awareness of the UK’s number one cancer and campaigning for cultural and educational change.