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Educate Students & Staff

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Education provides necessary information and skills to practice and demonstrate healthy sun safe behaviors. It's as important to teach your staff as it is to teach your students about sun safety.

Student Education

Sun protection education is most effective when the instruction is comprised of several units, conducted over multiple class meetings, and contains content built upon well-established principles of education and behavior change.1

Research shows that people get about 25% of their lifetime UV damage by the time they turn 182 so it is important to teach students to protect themselves against sun exposure when they are young. However, cumulative lifetime sun exposure is a skin cancer risk factor for adults as well, so teaching students sun safety skills can help staff make healthy decisions later in life, too.

Children as young as three can learn to use shade, cover-up clothing, hats, sunglasses and sunscreen. Older children and teenagers can strengthen their media literacy skills and learn to resist peer pressure to tan. Teachers can protect themselves and serve as role models for students.

Try the following ideas to promote and support a sun safe school environment:

Try the following ideas to incorporate sun safety into lesson plans:

Teachers can incorporate sun safety into science, health, physical education, or consumer studies instruction. Check out the teaching materials and sun safety programs for more ideas for teaching students about sun safety.

Staff Education

Many staff and teachers, especially P. E. teachers and coaches, are outdoor workers. As occasional-outdoor workers, they are another important audience for sun safety education. Consider sharing the approximately 30 minute in-service training webinar.

Incorporating sun safety into staff development doesn’t have to take a lot of planning or extra time. Even a ten-minute reminder once a year lets staff know what they are responsible for, how to be good role models for students, and that the district cares about their health.

Try the following ideas:

Take Note!

Skin Cancer may be a risk management issue for some workplaces, especially those with outdoor workers. Across the nation there have been some Workers’ Compensation settlements related to sun exposure while at work.

In California, state employed lifeguards are eligible for Workers’ Compensation if they develop skin cancer, unless it can be shown that they likely developed skin cancer in another environment. (California Labor Code, Section 3212.11)

Whether your school is concerned about Workers’ Compensation, other types of liability, or health care costs, educating your employees is essential. Teaching them about risks associated with sun exposure and ways they can protect themselves from UV rays makes sense. Be proactive with your employees.

1Buller DB, Borland R. Health Edu Behav.1999 Jun; 26(3):317-43.
2Godar, DE. Photochem and Photobiol. 2003;77(4): 453-457.

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