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Hastings and Prince Edward Public Health
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Sun Safety and UV in Schools

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in Canada and is highly preventable. Childhood exposure to UV Radiation (UVR) contributes to the development of skin cancer in later life. Children potentially have a greater risk to sun exposure compared to adults, since children have thinner and more sensitive skin. Children’s eyes also have a lower capability to filter UV radiation.

Schools can play a major role in minimizing student exposure to UVR (the highest risk is between 11 am and 3 pm) and in both establishing and maintaining sun safety habits for a lifetime.

Using the Ministry of Education’s Foundations for a Healthy School framework, schools, school boards, parents and community partners can work together to develop healthy school environments that promote and support student well-being. Information below has been organized following this framework.

Curriculum, Teaching and Learning

Sun Safe Play Every Day (Grades JK – 3)

A four-minute, sing-along video created by the Canadian Dermatology Association about a young boy and his dog talking about the sun, and the many ways we can play safely in the sun.

SunSense Teaching Guides (Grades 1-6)

The SunSense program by the Canadian Cancer Society offers a full certification program for schools to create sun safe environments. Individual program resources such as parent letters, fact sheets and teaching guides are available to download.

Dear 16-Year-old Me (Grades 9 – 11)

This short five-minute video created by David Cornfield Melanoma Fund, highlights the dangers of melanoma for young people. Previewing is recommended.

Sun Safety for Sun and Indoor Tanning Handout (Grades 9 – 12)

Tanning beds are another significant source of UVR. Using a tanning bed before the age of 35 increases the risk of developing melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer) by 59 percent. The fact sheet linked above can help inform youth of the risk of using tanning beds.

School and Classroom Leadership

Sun Safety Policy Guidelines

This resource takes you through the step-by-step process of developing and implementing a SunSense policy for your school.

Student Engagement

National Sun Awareness Week (May)

The link above can support students in planning a school wide campaign to celebrate National Sun Awareness Week.

Social and Physical Environments

SunSense – Shade Planning Guide

The guide linked above provides information about how to complete a shade audit and plan for shade on your school grounds. 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.

Home, School and Community Partnerships

Share information and resources with parents from the following websites:

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We are gradually resuming in-person services at HPEPH by appointment only at this time.  Please review our Service Interruptions page for more information.

All program lines and the COVID-19 information line operate Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm (excluding statutory holidays).

To assist us with our efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, we ask anyone visiting the office for an appointment to:

  • bring a non-medical mask, physical distancing may not be possible during your appointment
  • maintain physical distance of at least 2 metres, both inside and outside the office
  • review symptoms of COVID-19, and reschedule your appointment if you have symptoms of the virus, or any other illness
  • reschedule your appointment if a family member or other close contact is ill
  • use accessible buttons to open doors, instead of handles
  • use hand sanitizer when entering and exiting the building

We have made additional changes to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you are visiting our office for an appointment, you can be confident that we are:

  • increasing our cleaning, in alignment with heightened infection control protocols
  • considering alternatives to in-person appointments and meetings when possible
  • screening staff and visitors for symptoms of COVID-19
  • offering in-person services by appointment only to reduce traffic in office
  • ensuring staff wear masks and/or other protective equipment when seeing clients

Please continue to our website for more information about our programs and services.