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Sun Protection Ideas

You can be the catalyst of change for your school—and your community! Use these ideas as a starting point not only to help your students, but to also inspire other teachers, parents, and your administration, about the need to bring about a greater awareness of the dangers associated with UV ray exposure.
  • Encourage, require, or even provide sunscreen for students. Regular use of sunscreen with SPF of 15 or higher during the first 18 years of your life can reduce the incidence of some types of skin cancer by up to 78%. (The Sun Safety Alliance recommends sunscreen products with an SPF of 30 or higher for children under age 6 years, and SPF 15 or higher for older children.)
  • Ask your school administration to plant trees around the playground recess area, jungle gyms, slides, swings, athletic fields/courts, etc. (Remember, concrete, sand, water, and snow reflect 85% to 90% of the UV rays.)
  • Outdoor picnic or play activity tables? Ask your administration to put summer umbrellas over them.
  • Remind everyone about the dangers of UV! In arts class, create weatherproof, "sun-safety" signs and have the students put them around the school yard—or anywhere where there is outdoor school activity.
  • Be proactive and send sun-safety information to parents. (Use the resources on this Web site!) Encourage parents to send their kids to school with wide-brimmed hats, thick shirts, and sunscreen. Bring your concerns to the PTA.
  • Take turns with other teachers watching the daily UV index. Find a special place where you can post it daily where everyone can see it!
  • Consider alternate indoor activity for recess during bad UV days.
  • Is your classroom on a sunny side of the building? Ask your administration to consider putting canopies over your windows. (Or consider some other type of appropriate "shading screen.")
  • Set a good example by wearing a hat, "cover-up" clothing, sunglasses, and using sunscreen when outdoors.
  • Print this page and pass it on to your fellow colleagues!
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