Minister launches new resource for sun safety

The Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli today visited Grays Point Public School to launch a new information pack that provides schools with the latest advice on sun safety.

Mr Piccoli said the Sun Safety for Students guidelines, developed in partnership with the Cancer Council of NSW, offer practical advice on a range of sun safety issues including scheduling outdoor activities, shade, sunscreen, and school uniforms.

"These new guidelines are based on current best practice and provide suggestions on how to approach sun safety at school," Mr Piccoli said.
"Most of the irreversible skin damage from the sun occurs by the age of 15, so sun safety is a responsibility that is shared by schools, families and communities.

"95 per cent of skin cancers can be prevented through reducing exposure to the sun. That is why we are providing a range of support materials for schools on how to protect children in the sun, as well as advice on how to bring these important messages into the classroom.

"By reducing exposure to the sun and increasing the uptake of sun safe practices, schools can make a significant contribution to community efforts to reduce skin cancer and related skin damage.

"Australia's incidence of skin cancer is still the highest in the world. So whether young people are playing backyard cricket or swimming at the beach, sun safe hats and sunscreen should be worn. Practising sun safety at home ensures messages taught at school about sun safety are supported," Mr Piccoli said.

Schools are able use the Sun Safety for Students guidelines and support material to plan and implement comprehensive sun safety initiatives. Schools are encouraged to involve representatives from across their school community when reviewing and planning sun safe strategies.

An information sheet for parents and carers is also available in 25 languages on the public schools website http://www.schools.nsw.edu.au/studentsupport/studenthealth/sun-safety/index.php.

The Cancer Council NSW's free SunSmart Program is a great way to help schools comply with the new guidelines.

For information on Cancer Council NSW's SunSmart Program contact 02 9334 1731 or visit www.sunsmartnsw.com.au.

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