A new SunSmart survey has delivered a decent report card for West Australian primary schools, but with comments that ‘more work needs to be done' and ‘could do better with more application'.
The results of our 2017 National Primary School SunSmart Survey show the majority of schools are ensuring students wear hats and have sun protective uniforms. However the survey has found the news is not so good when it comes to shade, sunscreen and teachers wearing hats.
More than half of WA Primary Schools say they don't have enough shade, and nearly one in five schools say the cost of providing shade is a challenge.
Our SunSmart Manager, Mark Strickland, said it is encouraging to see an increase in the uptake of some sun protection practices such as hats and holding events indoors.
"We'd like schools to work on improving sun safety by encouraging children to wear sunscreen. Children need reminding to apply sunscreen and can't be relied on to remember themselves. We would like to congratulate the WA schools who have been working hard to improve sun safety. Their efforts are paying off and we're starting to see a decline in skin cancer rates in young people."
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure during childhood is a significant determinant of lifetime risk of skin cancer, with children receiving more UV exposure than adults.
Today's children have grown up with the SunSmart message and are our most sun savvy generation ever.
Parents and teachers understand the importance of protecting children's skin with rashies, hats, sunglasses, shade and sunscreen. However, it's important that adults set a good example and protect their own skin too.