SUN PROTECTION POLICY

 

Background 

Australia has the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world.  Of all new incidents of cancer diagnosed in Australia each year, 80 per cent are skin cancers.  Given that children in child care attend during peak ultraviolet radiation (UVR) times and that they spend much of their day outdoors, childcare has a major role in minimising children’s UVR exposure.  Further, childcare provides the ideal opportunity to instil in children long-term positive Sun Smart habits.

 

Policy statement 

The centre aims to provide a safe environment where children are protected from the harmful effects of the sun, in accordance with The Cancer Council Tasmania’s Sun Smart Program.

 Procedures to be followed when UV levels are 3 and above 

 (In Tasmania this is generally from mid-September to mid-April) 

UV Alert

UV index will be checked daily during the alert period of mid September to mid April.  Our focus will be providing sun protection measures when the UV rating exceeds 3, as recommended by The Cancer Council.

Hats

Hats must be broad brimmed, bucket style, or legionnaire style to protect skin around eyes, face, neck and ears. Baseball caps do not give adequate protection and do not meet Sun Smart requirements.  The centre will provide an appropriate hat if one is not sent from home.

All hats need to be clearly named, and may either be kept in the child’s bag, or stored at the centre.

Sunscreen

Sunscreen (SPF30+) will be applied to children’s exposed skin from mid September to mid April when the UV level is 3 or above.

Where children are not able to apply sunscreen effectively by themselves, staff will use a disposable tissue for each child, and wash hands between applications, to prevent the spread of infections.

Sunscreen should be applied, when possible, 20 minutes before exposure to the sun. Sunscreen should be re-applied every two hours when exposures are extended and the UV is 3 and above.

Families may supply sunscreen for their child if they do not wish to use the sunscreen provided by the centre. 

Shade

The centre provides shade in areas where children gather such as for eating, playing and outdoor teaching.  The use of these areas is encouraged.

The availability of shade is considered when excursions and outdoor activities are planned.

 

Eye Protection

Children will be encouraged to use wrap around style sunglasses if families are able to supply them.  Sunglasses should comply with Australian standards AS1067:2003

 

Exposure Times

From 1 December to 28 February children should play in shaded areas or indoors between 11.00am and 3.00pm.  If the UV rating is 8 or under it is still safe for children to play out doors before 11.00am and after 3.00pm if they are wearing proper protection, and if they are not at risk from the heat.  Carers should use their judgement for determining whether it is too hot to go out. 

Advice for Babies

Between mid September and mid April babies under 12 months are kept out of direct sunlight when UV is 3 and above and always well protected with shade, clothing and hats.  When necessary sunscreen should be applied to small areas of skin not protected by clothing and hats. 

Clothing for Children

Children need to wear clothing that offers protection from the sun i.e., sleeved dresses, shirts and longer style shorts.  Sundresses and singlets are not suitable.  If a child arrives with inappropriate clothing staff will find other clothing that provides sun protection and advise families with a note. 

Darker Skinned Children

Naturally very dark skinned children (skin types 5 and 6) may need 4-6 times as much sun for vitamin D production and the Cancer Council recommends that with parental permission these children not use long sleeved tops or sun screen, unless out for extended periods, however, when UV is 3 or above they should still wear a sunhat (or sunglasses) to protect their eyes and the skin around the eyes and ears. 

Vitamin D

To help maintain adequate vitamin D levels sun protection will not be used from mid-April to mid-September, when average peak UV levels are below 3 unless in alpine regions, near highly reflective surfaces such as water and snow or outdoors for extended periods. 

Adult’s Role in Sun Protection

Staff will discuss with children, in appropriate ways, why sun protection is important, and to raise awareness with families.

Staff will model good sun protection practices at all times, including wearing suitable clothing, hats, sunscreen.  Staff are encouraged to wear eye protection while outdoors. 

Review and Updating of Policy and Practice

The centre’s Sun Protection Policy will be reviewed every two years to maintain the effectiveness of our strategies, and to stay in line with current research and information as provided by the Cancer Council.

Expiry Date

This policy was accredited by the Cancer Council of Tasmania and Expires in May 2015.

  

Additional safe resting practices for babies 

  • Babies under the age of 12 months are kept out of direct sunlight as a matter of course. However, when outdoors, a small amount of sunscreen is applied only to those exposed areas not already covered by clothing or hats. QA 2.3.2 
  • Educators monitor fluid intake of babies and document it in each child’s Communication Book. QA 2.3.2

 Responsibilities of parents 

  • To provide a SunSmart hat for their child each time their child attends the Centre, and to ensure the hat is clearly named and kept clean.   
  • To dress their child in SunSmart clothing, including spares, each time the child attends the Centre.
  • To model positive SunSmart behaviour to the children when at the Centre. 
  • To notify the Centre in writing if their child is allergic to sunscreen, and to supply an alternative sunscreen clearly labeled with the child’s name.    

Links to other policies 

  • Clothing Policy
  • Educational Program Policy
  • Enrolment and Orientation Policy
  • Excursion Policy

 

Links Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011, National Quality Standard 2011

 

Regs

114

Outdoor shade

 

168

Policies and procedures

 

QA

2.1.1

Each child’s health needs are supported

 

2.1.2

Each child’s comfort is provided for and there are appropriate opportunities to meet each child;s need for sleep, rest and relaxation

 

2.1.4

Steps are taken to control the spread of infectious diseases and to manage injuries and illness, in accordance with recognised guidelines

 

2.2.1

Healthy  eating is promoted and food and drinks provided by the service are nutritious and appropriate for each child

 

2.3.2

Every reasonable precaution is taken to protect children from harm and any hazard likely to cause injury

 

3.1.1

Outdoor and indoor spaces, buildings, furniture, equipment, facilities and resources are suitable for their purpose 

 

4.2.1

Professional standards guide practice, interactions and relationships

 

6.1.1

There is an effective enrolment and orientation process for families

 

7.2.2

The performance of educators, co-ordinators and staff members is evaluated and individual development plans are in place to support performance improvement

 

7.3.5

Service practices are based on effectively documented policies and procedures that are available at the service and reviewed regularly

 

Sources, further reading and useful websites 

Sources

Further reading

Useful websites

 

Policy review 

The Centre encourages staff and parents to be actively involved in the annual review of each of its policies and procedures. In addition, the Centre will accommodate any new legislative changes as they occur and any issues identified as part the Centre’s commitment to quality improvement. The Centre consults with relevant recognised authorities as part of the annual review to ensure the policy contents are consistent with current research and contemporary views on best practice.

 

Date(s) reviewed:  May 2012

 Next review date: May 2015