01 November 2016
The SunSmart team were blown away when a recent phone call to Ingle Farm East Primary School showed just how dedicated one student has been in promoting the SunSmart message.
Since the beginning of 2015, Anna has made it her mission to ensure everyone at the school protects their skin when the ultraviolet (UV) radiation level is 3 and above. Each morning Anna visits the Bureau of Meteorology website to get the daily sun protection times. She records the information on a poster and pins it on the front office door before completing the most exciting and important part of her morning – reading the sun protection times over the PA!
Debbie, the school’s administration officer, assists Anna each day and proudly told the SunSmart team about Anna and how important the job was to her.
“Anna has a lovely clear voice and is very professional in doing [the daily sun protection times] every morning”.
“Anna prefers it when the UV rating is 3 and above because it means she gets to say more over the PA!” Debbie said.
Debbie also said that Anna has recently received an award from the school for her dedication in doing the role every day.
Soon Anna will be leaving to begin Year eight at the local high school. In term 2 Debbie received a letter from Anna asking that the task be continued after she completes Year seven which shows just how important and what it means to her.
The letter read:
I believe that soon, we’ll have to sort training another student to get the UV rating job done.
I was thinking maybe in term 3, we could have a notice going around after the UV rating is announced and signup sheets, and an audition as well.
I think that this job should be for anyone between Years 5 & 7.
Whilst Debbie thought that perhaps term 3 was a little too early, she has promised Anna that she will send around a note to all of the relevant classes to see if there was anyone who would take over the important job.
Ingle Farm East Primary School have been members of the SunSmart Schools Program since 1999. They were recently awarded a 15 year membership certificate and had a special visit from Sid Seagull during National Skin Cancer Action Week in November 2015. In September 2016 the Ingle Farm Primary School Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) service also joined the SunSmart Program.
Two out of three Australians will develop some form of skin cancer by the age of seventy. The majority of skin cancers are caused by overexposure to the sun’s UV radiation with exposure during childhood and adolescence being critical in determining the likelihood of developing skin cancer later in life. Children are at primary school, kindergarten or childcare during the peak UV radiation times of the day, up to five days each week. Schools and early childhood centres are therefore ideally placed to significantly reduce the risk of skin cancer by protecting the children and staff in their care from overexposure to UV radiation through implementing the five SunSmart strategies: Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide.
The SunSmart Program recognises a balance between healthy sun exposure for vitamin D and protecting the skin from damage when the UV radiation level is 3 and above. Cancer Council SA recommends that schools and early childhood centres implement a combination of sun protection procedures during terms 1, 3 and 4 (or from 1 August to 30 April) to ensure that children are protected when they need to be and not just when the weather is hot.
For more information about the SunSmart Program for schools, early childhood centres and OSHC services contact the SunSmart team on 08 8291 4356, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.sunsmart.org.au.