Sun Smart Policy

This policy applies to all school events on and off site.

Purpose
This SunSmart policy provides guidelines to:

  • Ensure all students and staff have some UV exposure for vitamin D.
  • Ensure all students and staff are well protected from too much UV exposure by using a combination of sun protection measures.
  • Ensure the outdoor environment is sun safe and provides shade for students and staff.
  • Ensure students are encouraged and supported to develop independent sun protection skills.
  • Support duty of care requirements
  • Support appropriate OHS strategies to minimise UV risk and associated harms for staff and visitors

 

Background
A balance of ultraviolet radiation (UV) exposure is important for health. Too much of the sun’s UV can cause sunburn, skin and eye damage and skin cancer. Exposure to the sun’s UV during childhood and adolescence is associated with an increased risk of skin cancer in later life. Too little UV from the sun can lead to low vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones and muscles, and for general health.

Legislation and Standards

  • Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
  • Education and Training Reform Act 2006: Sch.5 Reg. 1 (1.2)

Procedures

  • A combination of sun protection measures are used for all outdoor activities from Mid-August to the end of April.

Healthy physical environment

1. Seek shade

  • A shade audit is conducted regularly to determine the current availability and quality of shade.
  • The school council makes sure there is a sufficient number of shelters and trees providing shade in the school grounds particularly in areas where students congregate.
  • The availability of shade is considered when planning all other outdoor activities and excursions.
  • In consultation with the school council, shade provision is considered in plans for future buildings and grounds.
  • Students are encouraged to use available areas of shade when outside.
  • Students who do not have appropriate hats or outdoor clothing are asked to play in the shade or a suitable area protected from the sun.

Healthy social environment

2. Slip on sun protective clothing

  • Suitable clothing is included in our school uniform / dress code and sports uniform. School clothing is cool, loose fitting and made of densely woven fabric. It includes shirts with collars and sleeves.

3. Slap on a hat

  • All students and staff are required to wear hats that protect their face, neck and ears, i.e. legionnaire, broad brimmed or bucket hats, whenever they are outside. Baseball or peak caps and visors are not considered a suitable alternative.
  • With parental consent, students with naturally very dark skin are not required to wear hats, to help with vitamin D requirements.

4. Slop on sunscreen

  • Students are encouraged to provide their own SPF 30 or higher broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen.
  • Staff and students will have access to SPF 30 or higher broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen for staff and student use.
  • Strategies are in place to remind students to apply sunscreen before going outdoors.
  • With parental consent, students with naturally very dark skin are not required to wear sunscreen to help with vitamin D requirements.

Learning and skills

  • SunSmart behaviour is regularly reinforced and promoted to the whole school community through newsletters, staff meetings, school assemblies, student and teacher activities and on student enrolment.

Engaging children, educators, staff and families

  • Staff and families are encouraged to access the SunSmart website for information on sun protection and vitamin D.
  • As part of OHS UV risk controls and role-modelling, staff, volunteers and contractors:
     - wear a sun protective hat, covering clothing and, if practical, sunglasses when outside
     - apply sunscreen
     - seek shade whenever possible

Monitoring and review

  • The school council and staff regularly monitor and review the effectiveness of the SunSmart policy (at least once every three years) and revise the policy when required by completing a policy review and membership renewal with SunSmart at sunsmart.com.au.
  • SunSmart policy updates and requirements will be made available to staff, families and visitors.

Policy reviewed and updated: August 2017

Next policy review: July 2020