Sun Safety & UV
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in Canada and is highly preventable. Childhood exposure to UV Radiation (UVR) is an important contributor to the development of skin cancer in later life.
Schools play a major role in minimizing student exposure to UVR (highest risk is between 11 am and 3 pm) and in both establishing and maintaining sun safety habits for a lifetime.
An effective sun safety school culture provides the opportunity for staff and students to enjoy the many benefits of outdoor play and physical activity while offering protection from UVR. This is done by establishing effective routines, enhancing shade on school grounds and developing and implementing a sun safety policy.
Develop a Sun Protection Policy
Sun Safety Policy Guidelines for schools is a best-practice guide to developing a sun safe school culture. It offers a step-by-step policy process and examples of exciting sun safety school and community programs.
Create a Sun Safe School Environment
SunSense Program (grades 1-6)
The SunSense program supports elementary school communities in creating a sun safety environment through education, policy development and awareness of sun safe practices. The program includes a policy development guide, as well as supporting tools and resources, such as curriculum resources, communication tools and FREE materials for download or order (UV bead bracelets and luggage tags). The program is a joint project of Canadian Cancer Society, Ophea and Evergreen.
Other Sources of UV Radiation
Tanning beds are another significant source of UVR. Young people are at particular risk: using a tanning bed before the age of 35 increases the risk of developing melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer) by 59 percent. In Ontario it is illegal for persons less than 18 years of age to use a tanning bed. More information can be found on this website, on the Cancer Prevention page found under the “Healthy Living” tab.