By Kyra Gillespie
SunSmart is congratulating Casey Child Care and Kindergarten as the latest member of the SunSmart Early Childhood Program.
The program encourages early childhood services to take SunSmart steps to reduce the harm of ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
SunSmart Manager Heather Walker congratulated Casey Child Care and Kindergarten for its commitment to the SunSmart message.
“Skin cancer is Victoria’s most common cancer and yet most cases can be prevented with good sun protection practices,” Ms Walker said.
“Childhood is also a crucial time in determining lifetime skin cancer risk, which is why it’s great to see services like Casey Child Care and Kindergarten join us in creating the next SunSmart
The SunSmart program is one of the world’s most successful health promotion programs.
Australian melanoma rates show the incidence of the disease has dropped for people aged under 40, consistent with the positive impact of skin cancer prevention programs like SunSmart, which began in the 1980s.
Casey Child Care and Kindergarten director Debbie Porter said she was proud of the role the centre would play to help prevent skin cancer.
Casey Child Care and Kindergarten staff and students will wear sun-protective hats from mid-August to the end of April when UV levels are three or higher.
They will also be encouraged to wear clothing that covers as much skin as possible, apply sunscreen, and make use of shady play spaces outdoors.
“By joining the SunSmart program, we have a clear guide on how we can help cut the risk of skin cancer for the children at our service,” Ms Porter said.
“This includes the Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide messages we all know, as well as better educating our staff and families about UV radiation.
“This is helping us create a healthier environment for the community here now, and for future generations.”
More than 80 per cent of early childhood services and 90 per cent of primary schools in Victoria are registered members of the SunSmart program.
To find out more about the program, including becoming a member, visit sunsmart.com.au.