Too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun causes sunburn, skin damage and increases the risk of skin cancer. Sun exposure in the first 15 years of life contributes significantly to the lifetime risk of developing skin cancer. Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world. Skin cancers account for 81% of all new cancers diagnosed in Australia each year. Melanoma is the most diagnosed cancer for 15 – 44 year olds. The Nemarluk School Sunsmart Policy is followed all year round in the Territory as the UV levels are always high or extreme.
The policy incorporates all outdoor activities including community programs, outside of school hour care programs and vacation care programs held on school grounds.
The following are some of the strategies being implemented at Nemarluk School:
- All students and staff use a combination of sun protection measures throughout the day to ensure they are well protected. Particular care is taken between 10 am and 3 pm when UV levels reach their peak.
- Students are encouraged to use available areas of shade when outside. Students who do not have appropriate hats or outdoor clothing are asked to stay in the shade.
- Sun protective clothing is included in our school uniform / dress code and sports uniform. School clothing is made of close weave fabric and includes shirts with collars and longer sleeves, longer style dresses and shorts and rash vests or t-shirts for outdoor swimming.
- Students are also required to wear hats that protect their face, neck and ears, i.e. legionnaire, broad-brimmed or bucket hats whenever they are outside.
- SPF 30+ broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen is available for staff and students use. Sunscreen is applied at least 20 minutes before going outdoors and reapplied every two hours if outside for long periods.