Date: December 2020 Review: 2022
The purpose of this policy is to encourage behaviours at Numurkah Primary School that reflect a healthy UV exposure balance, ensuring some sun exposure for vitamin D while minimising the risk of skin cancer.
This policy provides guidelines to:
support staff and students to use a combination of sun protection measures when UV index levels are 3 or above (generally September – April) and allow sun exposure when UV levels are below 3 (generally May-August)
ensure that there are outdoor environments that provide adequate shade for students and staff
ensure students are encouraged and supported to develop independent sun protection skills to help them to be responsible for their own protection
support our school’s strategies to meet its duty of care and occupational health and safety obligations to minimise harmful UV exposure and associated harm for students and staff.
This policy applies to all school activities, including camps and excursions. It is applicable to all students and staff.
A balance of sun exposure is important for health. Excessive exposure to the sun can cause health problems including sunburn, dehydration, damage to skin and eyes, and an increased risk of skin cancer.
Too little UV exposure from the sun can lead to low Vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is essential for healthy muscles and bones, and overall health.
cannot be seen or felt
can be reflected off surfaces such as buildings, asphalt, concrete, water, sand, and snow
can pass through light clouds
varies in intensity across the year (highest in Victoria from September - April)
peaks during school hours
A combination of sun protection measures should be put in place from September to the end of April, and whenever UV levels reach 3 and above.
Numurkah Primary School has the following measures in place to help reduce the risk of excessive UV sun exposure for staff and students.
Numurkah Primary School will provide sufficient options for shelter and trees to provide shade on school grounds, particularly in places such as:
where students congregate for eating time at recess and lunch
outdoor lesson areas such as the office and library courtyard
popular play areas – junior and senior playground
When building works or grounds maintenance is conducted at Numurkah Primary School that may impact the level of shading available to staff and students, a review of the shaded areas available will be conducted and further shading installed as appropriate.
Sun protective uniform/clothing
Numurkah Primary School’s school uniform and dress code includes sun-protective clothing, including:
loose, cool, closely woven fabric
shirts with a collar and/or high necklines
rash vests or t-shirts for outdoor swimming activities.
At recess and lunchtimes from September to April, and whenever UV levels reach 3 and above, all students must wear a broad-brimmed hat when playing outside.
Staff and students are encouraged to wear hat styles that protect the face, neck, and ears when outdoors, for example, broad-brimmed or bucket.
Students are required to wear a school hat or another hat style that protects the face, neck, and ears when outdoors, for example, broad-brimmed or bucket. Students who may not be wearing appropriate protective clothing or a hat may be asked to play in the shade or in a suitable area protected from the sun.
Numurkah Primary School encourages all staff and students to apply SPF 30+ (or higher) broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen daily at a minimum from September to the end of April, and whenever UV levels reach 3 and above. Sunscreen should be applied at least 20 minutes before going outdoors and reapplied every two hours if necessary.
Numurkah Primary School has strategies in place to remind students to apply sunscreen before going outdoors for example reminder notices or sunscreen monitors. All classrooms are supplied with sunscreen which is regularly monitored and replaced when needed. Staff and students who may suffer from allergic reactions to certain types of sunscreen are encouraged to bring their own to school to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction while at school.
Staff and families should role model SunSmart behaviour and are encouraged to apply SPF 30+ (or higher) broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen when outside from September to the end of April or whenever UV levels reach 3 and above.
Students at our school are encouraged to make healthy choices and are supported to understand the benefits and risks of sun exposure. Numurkah Primary School will address sun, UV safety, and Vitamin D education as part of the Health curriculum.
Staff are encouraged to access resources, tools, and professional learning to enhance their knowledge and capacity to promote sun-smart behaviour and Vitamin D education across the school community.
Engaging students, staff, and families
Families and staff are provided with information, ideas, and practical strategies to support UV safety and Vitamin D education at school and at home. Numurkah Primary School may provide families and staff with information through newsletters, the school website, and school assemblies.
FURTHER INFORMATION AND RESOURCES
• the Department’s Policy Advisory Library: o SunandUVProtectionPolicyo Dutyofcare
• SunSmart• Achievement Program’s SunSmart
This policy was last updated on 7th December 2020 and is scheduled for review on December 2022.