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District nurses, school nurses, health educators and school health resource specialists are integral leaders in promoting and reinforcing skin cancer prevention practices and policies in school districts. An article in the Journal of School Nursing notes that “school nurses are in a position to affect the health education curriculum, as well as school policies that promote sun safety behaviors.1 The California School Nurses Organization has also issued a position statement on sun protection which highlights the importance of school nurses in helping students avoid sun damage and in assisting the district in policy development.

Health professionals and educators not only impact the immediate health of students, they can also help create policy to protect students’ future health. School health professionals can educate students by making classroom visits, teaching student athletes about the importance of covering up in the sun, and talking to parents about how to help their children stay sun safe. In addition, health professionals can rally support for health policy change at the school and district level.

Community health professionals can also provide additional support to sun safety programs. Pediatricians, primary care providers, nurses, pharmacists and dermatologists can help lend credibility and expert guidance to sun safety education, policies and environmental changes. They can also be advocates for sun safety by volunteering as presenters for school assemblies at school assemblies, professional trainings, school board meetings, demonstrations and classroom visits. Click here to contact the program manager to invite a local dermatologist from the Sun Safe Schools network to give a presentation atyour school.

Tips to involve Health Services:

1Boe K, Tillotson E. J Sch Nurs. 2006;22(3):136-141

Promoting Sun Safety in California Elementary Schools.

Sun Safe Schools Home Page