Menu
Home Page

Letters to Parents (archive)

Sun Safety for Parents/Carers for Children in Primary Schools

Why is sun safety important?

Did you know that?

  • Over recent years skin cancer has become much more common. Rates are more than 4 times higher than they were in the late 1970s in Great Britain. Melanoma skin cancer is now the 5th most common cancer overall in the UK

  • Over exposure to UV light is the main cause of skin cancer. UV light comes from the sun as well as from artificial tanning sunbeds and sunlamps.

  • 86% of melanoma skin cancer cases in the UK are preventable

  • Exposing your child to too much sun may increase their risk of skin cancer later in life.

     

If your shadow is shorter than you, you could burn!

Remember your child needs to wear sun protection at school. Make sure you put lots on them before they go. If school asks you to send extra sunscreen it needs to be in a labelled bottle. It’s advisable to wear it on overcast and cloudy days too.

You don’t have to buy expensive brands, cheap ones are fine as long as they are at least factor 15 and UVA 4 star rated (the stars are usually on the back of the bottle in a circle)

Check the expiry date on your sunscreen – most only last a year or 2. Make sure you store it in a cool place or the protective chemicals can be ruined.

Always remember vulnerable areas like ears, back of hands, neck and feet. Use sunscreen together with shade and clothing to avoiding getting caught out by sunburn

Hats: Wide brimmed or legionnaire styles offer the most protection

Shade is best for children – encourage them to play in shady areas at break and lunchtimes when the sun is out

Sunglasses: When choosing sunglasses look for the British Standards kite mark or CE mark. This means they offer a safe level of protection against harmful UV light. Looking directly at the sun can cause permanent damage to the back of the eye and so should be avoided.

The Heatwave Plan for England 2018 recommended that when the temperature is 30oC+, children should not take part in vigorous physical activity. Children should also stay hydrated in the sun, water is best.

The Vitamin D debate

Vitamin D helps build and maintain strong bones – and we all need some sunshine to make it. So there’s no need to avoid the sun altogether. Short exposures should be enough for most people (as long as they do not burn). The NHS recommends that people think about taking vitamin D supplements.

The people who should take extra care in the sun include those who:

  • have pale, white or light brown skin

  • have freckles or red or fair hair

  • tend to burn rather than tan

  • have many moles

  • have skin problems relating to a medical condition

  • have a family history of skin cancer

  • have been burnt by the sun in the past

 

 

Remember if you or your child have skin changes that you are concerned about – see your GP. Changes to check for include:

  • a new mole, growth or lump

  • any moles, freckles, or patches of skin that change in size shape or colour

Skin cancer is much easier to treat if it is found early

 

 

 

Updated June 2018 by Hayley Taylor-Cox SMBC Cancer Prevention Lead

References: Cancer Research UK and NHS

Sun Safety Information for Parent/Carers

 

Sun Safety Guidance Notes for Primary Schools in Stockport

Stockport Council’s Public Health Team is keen to work with schools to spread sun safety messages.

Did you know that?

  • Over recent years skin cancer has become much more common. Rates are more than 4 times higher than they were in the late 1970s in Great Britain. Melanoma skin cancer is now the 5th most common cancer overall in the UK

  • Over exposure to UV light is the main cause of skin cancer. UV light comes from the sun as well as from artificial tanning sunbeds and sunlamps

  • 86% of melanoma skin cancer cases in the UK are preventable

Your school and Parents/Carers, working in partnership, can play a significant role via role modelling and education. This document provides guidelines and resources you may want to use.

What could schools do?

  • Provide information for Parents/Carers – for example the leaflet written by Public Health could be given out in book bags, or put on the school website

  • Encourage positive role modelling by staff, e.g. by wearing suitable clothing, hats and sunscreen

  • Encourage children to wear lightweight, loose clothing that will offer protection from the sun and a hat (ideally legionnaire style or broad brimmed)

  • Encourage Parents/ Carers to use a high factor sunscreen on their child at least SPF 15 and UVA 4 stars

  • Allow children to access sun free areas between 11am and 3pm

  • Ensure children have access to water during the day

  • Hypersensitivity – schools should check, as part of medical conditions screening, if a child has diagnosed sensitivities with Parents/Carers how to risk asses and how both parties can address the situation

  • There may be cases where you have to consider making arrangements with Parents/Carers for particularly vulnerable children where the protection of the sun cream may be depleted and could leave children vulnerable to sunburn, such as sports days, forest schools, extended exposure to the sun (visits etc.) outdoor PE lessons and swimming. In such cases, arrangements should be made with Parents/Carers for the class/es affected to bring in appropriate sun cream from home clearly labelled with the child’s name for the child to self-apply

Sunscreen Guidelines

  • Parents/Carers should apply sunscreen before children come to school following manufacturer’s guidelines.

  • Parents/Carers should teach children how to properly apply their own sun cream,

  • Parent/Carers should recognise that the price of sun cream is unimportant, as long as it has at least 4 stars and is SPF 15+. It can expire (bottles need to be checked for expiry dates) and so new needs to be bought every year and stored in a cool, dry place

The Current Heatwave Plan for England (Updated 2018) recommended that when the temperature is 30oC+, children should not take part in vigorous physical activity.

Looking longer term schools could consider:

  • Ensuring working practices aim to prevent children from getting sunburnt by encouraging them to seek shade where possible. When it’s not possible they should be encouraged to wear hats, other clothing & sunscreen

  • Ensuring all staff are aware of sun safe guidance and any particular medical needs that may be affected by exposure to sun

  • Planning a whole school community approach to sun safety

  • Developing awareness raising activities through curriculum work and displays

  • Developing shaded areas in the playground

  • Re-scheduling times of outdoor events from afternoon to morning

  • Reviewing summertime uniform requirements to include protective clothing (long sleeves, loose clothing, hat etc.)

Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps build and maintain strong bones – and we all need some sunshine to make it. So there’s no need to avoid the sun altogether. Short exposures should be enough for most people (as long as they do not burn). The NHS recommends that people think about taking vitamin D supplements.

To summarise the NICE/NHS/Cancer Research UK sun safety guidelines:

  • Sun screen should be at least factor 15

  • And have UVA 4 stars at least

  • If your shadow is shorter than you, you could burn

  • Stay out of the sun, where possible, between 11 and 3

  • Protect skin with sunscreen, hat, sunglasses and t-shirt – sunburn should be avoided

  • Reapply sunscreen often

Resources

This clip is from Australia, it lasts 3 minutes 7 seconds and is suitable for all ages – it contains all the key sun safety messages (the only difference is they advise spending time in the shade until 4pm, we advise until 3pm) without talking about skin cancer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UWvqNeqX6E

There is a YouTube clip done by the NHS in conjunction with Cancer Research UK that you may choose to share with parents/carers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gYF0U37kr0

If you would like any support with your school’s sun safety campaign, if you require any resources or training then please do not hesitate to get in touch with me Hayley Taylor-Cox Public Health Cancer Prevention

Lead. hayley.taylor-cox@stockport.gov.uk 0161 474 2452

Updated June 2018 References: NHS, NICE and Cancer Research UK

Spring Parent Forum 2018

Thank you to all those who attended the parent forum on Thursday. The feedback we receive during these is greatly appreciated and helps forms the decisions we make.

Reception - Holi Festival Workshop

Yr 2 - Trip to Brabyns Tennis Club

Yr 1 - Trip to Blue Planet Aquarium 2018

KS1 - Chinese Storytelling Workshop

Whole School Panto - Aladdin 2017 - Letter to Parents

Summer Parent Forum

Top