Our Policies

SUN PROTECTION POLICY

AIM

Our Sun Protection Policy aims to:

  • promote positive attitudes amongst children, parents and staff towards skin protection
  • encourage lifestyle practices which can help reduce incidence of skin cancer
  • protect all children and staff from the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.

Background

Australia has the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world. Skin damage, including skin cancer, is the result of cumulative exposure to the sun. Much of the damage occurs during childhood and adolescence. Most skin damage is preventable. Young children and babies have sensitive skin that places them at particular risk of skin damage and sunburn. Children attend Early Childhood Services during the times when UV radiation levels are highest we therefore have a major role to play in minimising a child’s UV exposure. Our policy has been developed to help prevent skin damage, by taking effective measures for skin/sun protection.

Implementation

Parents Guidelines

  • Provide your child with a labelled hat that shades the face, neck, and ears ('legionnaire or bucket style') for children under eighteen months of age.
  • All children are to be dressed in SunSmart clothing with a collar and sleeves providing protection to the neck, shoulders, upper arms, back and stomach and preferably clothing that is closely woven for extra protection. Singlet tops, shoestring straps , halter necks and midriff or crop tops do not provide sun protection so are not suitable for child care.
  • Support the Centre's Skin Protection Policy by practicing skin protective behaviour at home.
  • Be a role model for your children and protect your own skin by wearing a hat and sunscreen at home and when visiting the centre.

Staff Guidelines

  • A centre legionnaire style hat will be issued to every child over eighteen months of age on enrolment. These hats are to remain at the centre at all times. They will be stored separately so no hat is touching another. Centre hats will be washed at the centre regularly and dried in the sun if possible.
  • Staffs are required to apply SPF30+ broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen on children 20 minutes before any outdoor play activities - even when the weather is cold and overcast. Ultra-violet rays still penetrate in these conditions. Staff will apply the sunscreen on a clean tissue for each child under three years of age and closely supervise children over three as they apply sunscreen themselves. Sunscreen will be reapplied every two hours while children are outside.
  • Ensure the child is wearing a hat at all times during outdoors play. A child who does not have a hat and / or refuses to wear one is to remain either indoors supervised, or be involved in activities provided on the veranda. Staff will be required to supervise these children accordingly.
  • Children are to use shaded areas where possible especially during times of high UV levels. Staffs are to reapply sunscreen to children every two hours while children are outside to ensure full protection.
  • Reminders will be given to parents of children who attend the service in non-SunSmart clothing.
  • Staffs are to be a positive role model to children. They will wear a SunSmart hat and clothing, use and promote shade, and use SPF30+ broad spectrum water-resistant sunscreen whilst supervising outdoor activities. Staff may chose to wear sunglasses that meet the Australian Standard 1067 when supervising outdoors.
  • Sun awareness activities will be incorporated into the programme.
  • The sun protection policy will operate all year regardless of the weather.
  • Sunscreen expiry dates will be monitored and discarded when out of date.
  • Sunscreen will be available for parents and visitors use.
  • Sun protection reminders will be included on invitations to service events such as the Christmas Picnic, and Open days.

Education

  • Encourage children to drink water throughout the day, especially on hot days
  • Encourage play in shaded areas
  • Explain to children the effects of the sun
  • Discuss weather conditions with children particularly on very hot days
  • Sun protection information is available for staff, families and visitors.

Environment Guidelines

  • A shaded structure is erected in the outdoor play area (10m x 5.9m) over the sandpit. This along with a further six shade sails provide shade cover for over 90% of the yard.
  • Sun protection is required at all times when outside.
  • Outdoor play will be under the shade from 11am to 3pm from October to March. Outdoor activities will be minimised during this period by limiting the amount of time spent outside.
  • Activities are set up in the shade and these along with portable equipment are moved as the shade moves throughout the day.
  • The shade quality is reviewed yearly and plans will be made to address any shade deficits.

NOTE - PRECAUTION

Some children may have allergic reactions to Sunscreen lotions. As a precaution when a child is enrolled into the centre the following statement MUST be completed on the enrolment form.

SUNSCREEN

I give permission for the staff of Little Explorer’s Early Learning Centre to apply SPF30+ board spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen lotion to my child, in accordance with your Sun Protection Policy. YES / NO.

If NO please supply alternative sun protection that meets the Cancer Council recommendations.

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