Sun Safety for Early Learning Settings

Protecting children from exposure to the sun during childhood provides an opportunity to reduce their risk of skin cancer over their lifetime.

Skin damage from UVR exposure during childhood can impact a person’s health over their lifetime. The skin of infants and toddlers is more vulnerable to UVR damage compared to adults.

Protecting children from exposure to the sun during childhood provides an opportunity to reduce their risk of skin cancer over their lifetime.

All childcare services have a responsibility, known as a duty of care, to children in their care. This duty of care can and should extend to sun safety.

strawhat watermelon

Policy and Design

Early Learning settings can protect children through the policies, procedures and structures in place. A sun safety policy, for example, might stipulate:

  • A┬ácommunications plan to keep parents informed (via regular newsletter, for example) and to request sun safe supplies to be sent along with children
  • Outdoor activities will be scheduled before 11am and after 3pm where possible.
    when activities must happen during the Critical Protection Period (between 11am -3pm) other precautions will be taken.
  • Outdoor activities will be carried out in shaded areas whenever possible.
  • Children will be required to wear a shirt with sleeves, wide brim hat, and at least SPF 30 sunscreen when outside.
  • New staff will be provided with sun safety training and given a copy of the sun safety policy

The outdoor space at an Early Learning setting or daycare should be designed or retrofit to provide shade, especially during the Critical Protection Period.

Education and Behaviour

Early learning settings also offer the opportunity to teach sun safe behaviours. Children are at an influential age to internalize a positive attitude about sun safety. Role modelling by early Childhood Educators can encourage children to learn by imitation.

Daily routines offer excellent opportunities for educators to integrate important learning and experienes for children to develop lifelong sun smart habits.

Discussions, hands on activities, sensory invitations and songs can help reinforce an understanding of the sun and the need to protect ourselves.

Instagram @sunsmart_sk

More Instagram