Page 1 of 5 Sample sun protection policy for early childhood services This SunSmart policy provides guidelines to ensure that children and staff are protected from damaging levels of UV radiation from the sun. Rationale Excessive exposure to the sun’s UV radiation can cause sunburn, skin and eye damage and skin cancer. Babies and young children are particularly vulnerable to UV damage. New Zealand and Australia have the highest skin cancer rates in the world. UV radiation damage accumulated during childhood and adolescence increases the risk of skin cancer later in life. Skin cancer is one of the most preventable cancers in New Zealand. More than 90% of skin cancers could be prevented by reducing exposure to UV radiation. Guidance  Sun protection should be used whenever UV levels are 3 or higher. For most parts of New Zealand this is between September and April, especially between 10am and 4pm. UV levels can be high on cool or cloudy days, so temperature is not a good indicator for deciding to use sun protection. To check the UV levels in your area, download the free UVNZ app for iPhone or Android. • Use sun protection throughout the year when at high altitudes (mountains) or near reflective surfaces such as water and snow. • Outdoor activities are encouraged year-round (with sun protection when necessary).  All babies under 12 months should be kept out of direct sun when UV levels are 3 or higher. They should be protected by shade, clothing and broad-brimmed hats. Sunscreen may be used on small areas of a baby’s skin but do not rely on sunscreen as the primary method of protection. If you do need to use sunscreen on a baby (at any age), use a sunscreen labelled as being for sensitive skin or suitable for children if possible, patch test first, and only use on very small areas of skin.  Widespread use of sunscreen on babies under 6 months is not recommended, as they have sensitive skin and should be kept in the shade where possible.  Children with a health condition or taking medicines that make them sensitive to the sun should use sun protection all year round. This includes children with autoimmune diseases, conditions that weaken the immune system, have had an organ transplant, or take medicines that increase sensitivity to light. Sample sun protection policy for early childhood services Page 2 of 5 Our sun protection strategy: All children and staff use a combination of sun protection measures whenever UV Index levels are 3 and above. Particular care is taken between September and April (between 10am and 4pm) when UV levels reach their peak. This policy is adopted from (DATE) so that children attending (NAME OF CENTRE) are protected from harmful UVR from the sun. This SunSmart policy has been developed to ensure that all children and staff are protected from damaging levels of UV radiation from the sun during all outdoor activities. 1. Shade  Management makes sure there are shelters, such as trees and other shade areas providing enough coverage for all children playing outside.  The availability of shade is considered when planning outdoor activities at the centre and outdoor excursions.  Children are encouraged to use available areas of shade when outside.  For the purposes of outdoor congregation, such as ceremonies or gatherings, children and staff are required to utilise shaded areas where appropriate.  Children who do not have appropriate hats or outdoor clothing are required to play in the shade or indoors (see hat exemption point 3).  As part of the service’s planning, the leadership team will consider how to increase shade where it is lacking. When remodelling, planning new buildings or playgrounds and play spaces, providing shade will be considered from the start. 2. Clothing  When outside, children wear loose-fitting clothing that covers as much skin as possible. Families are encouraged to dress children in tops with elbow-length sleeves, and if possible, collars and knee length or longer style shorts or skirts.  Some cover up clothing is provided at the centre if required.  Rash tops are encouraged for water play, if possible. 3. Hats  Children are required to wear hats that protect their face, neck and ears, legionnaire, broad-brimmed (minimum 7.5 cm brim) or deep crown bucket hat (minimum 6 cm brim). Baseball caps and visors do not offer enough protection and are therefore not recommended.  The service provides spare sunhats for children to use i

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