Sun Protection

Sun Protection Policy

Mandatory – Quality Area 2

This policy was written in consultation with Cancer Council Victoria’s SunSmart Program. The SunSmart Sample Sun Protection Policy was last updated in December 2011 and is incorporated into the KPV policy. For more detailed information visit the SunSmart website: sunsmart.com.au

Purpose

This policy will provide:

  • guidelines to ensure children, educators, volunteers and others participating in Elsa Macleod Kindergarten programs and activities maintain a healthy balance of ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure
  • information for parents/guardians, educators, volunteers and children attending Elsa Macleod Kindergarten regarding a healthy balance of UV radiation exposure.

Policy statement

1.   Values

Elsa Macleod Kindergarten is committed to:

  • promoting sun protection strategies for children, families, staff and visitors to minimise the harmful effects of over exposure to UV radiation, while allowing some UV exposure for vitamin D requirements
  • ensuring that curriculum planning will minimise exposure to the sun and also promote an awareness of sun protection and sun safe strategies
  • providing information to children, educators, staff, volunteers, parents/guardians and others at the service about the harmful and beneficial effects of exposure to the sun’s UV radiation.

2.   Scope

This policy applies to the Approved Provider, Nominated Supervisor, Certified Supervisor, educators, staff, students on placement, volunteers, parents/guardians, children and others attending the programs and activities of Elsa Macleod Kindergarten.

This policy will apply during Term1 and Term 4 of each year. During this period a combination of sun protection measures are to be used for all outdoor activities.

Sun protection may also be required at other times of the year when the UV Index level is at 3 or above. Information about the UV Index level is available in the weather section of the newspaper, on the SunSmart website at www.sunsmart.com.au, as a free smart phone app (iPhone or android) and as a free widget that can be added to websites.

3.   Background and legislation

Background

Balanced exposure to UV radiation is important for health. Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. Research suggests that young children and babies have sensitive skin and are therefore more vulnerable to sunburn and skin damage. Exposure to the sun in the first 15 years plays a major role in the risk of developing skin cancer in later life.

It is also important to have a healthy balance of UV radiation exposure. Too little UV from the sun can lead to low vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is necessary for the development and maintenance of healthy bones and muscles, and for general health. Appropriate levels of sun exposure can vary from child to child. According to the SunSmart website, children with naturally very dark skin may not be required to wear sunscreen to help with vitamin D requirements. This should be discussed with parents/guardians prior to the child commencing at the service.

It is a requirement under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 that employers provide a healthy and safe environment for all persons who access the service’s facilities and/or programs.

Legislation that governs the operation of approved children’s services is based on the health, safety and welfare of the children and requires that children are protected from hazards and harm.

Legislation and standards

Relevant legislation and standards include but are not limited to:

  • Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005 (Vic) (Part 2: Principles for Children)
  • Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010: Section 167
  • Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011: Regulations 114, 168(2)(a)(ii)
  • National Quality Standard, Quality Area 2: Children’s Health and Safety

–    Standard 2.3: Each child is protected

–    Element 2.3.2: Every reasonable precaution is taken to protect children from harm and any hazard likely to cause injury

  • Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004

4.   Definitions

The terms defined in this section relate specifically to this policy. For commonly used terms e.g. Approved Provider, Nominated Supervisor, Regulatory Authority etc. refer to the General Definitions section of this manual.

Clothing for sun protection: Clothing that is loose-fitting, made from cool, densely woven fabric and covers as much skin as possible.   Singlet tops and shoestring tops/dresses do not provide adequate protection in the sun.

Shade: An area sheltered from direct and indirect sun, such as a large tree, canopy or artificial cover. As recommended by Cancer Council Victoria, where possible, shade will provide a minimum of 94% protection against UV radiation.

Sunglasses: Sunglasses are optional. If worn, it is recommended that glasses are a close fitting, wrap-around style that meet the Australian Standard 1067 (Sunglasses: Category 2, 3 or 4) and cover as much of the eye area as possible.

Sunscreen: SPF 30+, broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen. Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours, even when labelled 4 hours water resistance. Monitor the expiry date and store in a cool, dry place.

SunSmart: The name of the program conducted by Cancer Council Victoria to promote an awareness of the need to provide sun protection: www.sunsmart.com.au

Sunhat: To protect the neck, ears, temples, face and nose, SunSmart recommends broad-brimmed, legionnaire or bucket-style hats. Baseball caps and visors offer little protection to the cheeks, ears and neck, and are not recommended.

5.   Sources and related policies

Sources

  • AS/NZS 4486.1:1997 – Playgrounds and Playground Equipment Part 1: Development, installation, inspection, maintenance and operation Shade/Sun Protection
  • Australian Safety and Compensation Council (ASCC) 2008, Guidance Note for the Protection of Workers from the Ultraviolet Radiation in Sunlight 2008
  • Cancer Council Australia: www.cancer.org.au/sunsmart
  • Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010
  • Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011
  • National Quality Standard, Quality Area 2: Children’s Health and Safety

–    Standard 2.3: Each child is protected

–    Element 2.3.2: Every reasonable precaution is taken to protect children from harm and any hazard likely to cause injury

  • SunSmart: www.sunsmart.com.au
  • Excursions and Service Events Policy
  • Nutrition and Active Play Policy
  • Occupational Health and Safety Policy
  • Supervision of Children Policy
  • maintaining membership of the SunSmart early childhood program
  • ensuring that this policy is up to date with current SunSmart recommendations: www.sunsmart.com.au
  • ensuring parents/guardians are informed about the Sun Protection Policy on enrolment, including the need to provide an appropriate sunhat and clothing for sun protection (refer to Definitions) for their child when attending the service
  • providing a supply of sunscreen for use on all persons to whom this policy applies
  • ensuring parents/guardians provide an authority for staff to apply sunscreen prior to their child commencing at the service (Attachment 1) and that this is stored with each child’s enrolment record (refer to General Definitions)
  • ensuring children wear appropriate sunhats, clothing for sun protection and sunscreen when attending the service
  • providing appropriate spare sunhats for children and adults that will be laundered after each use
  • ensuring there is adequate shade in the service grounds to protect children from overexposure to UV radiation (Regulation 114)
  • ensuring that program planning includes the application of a combination of sun protection measures for outdoor activities during the times specified in the Scope of this policy
  • ensuring that the availability of shade is considered in a risk assessment prior to conducting excursions and other outdoor events (Regulations 100, 101)
  • ensuring that information on sun protection is incorporated into the educational program (refer to the SunSmart website)
  • ensuring educators, staff, children and other participants at the service wear sunhats, clothing for sun protection and sunglasses (optional) when outside, apply sunscreen and seek shade during the times specified in the Scope of this policy
  • reinforcing this policy by providing information on sun protection (available on the SunSmart website) to service users via newsletters, noticeboards, meetings and websites etc.
  • ensuring parents/guardians are informed of the Sun Protection Policy,, including the need to provide an appropriate sunhat and clothing for sun protection (refer to Definitions) for their child when attending the service
  • obtaining a parent’s/guardian’s authority for staff to apply sunscreen prior to their child commencing at the service (included in the enrolment form).
  • ensuring program planning includes the application of a combination of sun protection measures for outdoor activities during the times specified in the Scope of this policy
  • ensuring information on sun protection is incorporated into the educational program (refer to the SunSmart website)
  • ensuring that the availability of shade is considered in a risk assessment prior to conducting excursions and other outdoor events (Regulations 100, 101).
  • wearing sunhats, clothing for sun protection (refer to Definitions) and sunglasses (optional) when outside, applying sunscreen and seeking shade during the times specified in the Scope of this policy
  • ensuring each child, and any other participant at the service, wears an appropriate sunhat, clothing for sun protection and sunscreen for all outdoor activities during the times specified in the Scope of this policy
  • checking that all sunhats brought to the service meet the SunSmart recommendation for adequate protection, are named and stored individually
  • ensuring spare sunhats are laundered after each use
  • applying sunscreen (refer to Definitions) to children’s exposed skin – except in cases where parents/guardians have not given authority. Where possible this should be done 20 minutes before going outdoors. Children, where appropriate, will be encouraged to apply sunscreen with the assistance of an educator.
  • storing sunscreen in a cool place and monitoring the expiry date – including for sunscreen supplied by parents/guardians
  • ensuring that children without appropriate sunhats or clothing for sun protection play in the shade or in a suitable area protected from the sun
  • encouraging children to seek shade when playing outside and utilise shaded areas for outdoor equipment that is not fixed during the times specified in the Scope of this policy
  • encouraging children to wear sunhats when travelling to and from the service
  • ensuring that sun protection strategies are a priority when planning excursions
  • co-operating with their employer with respect to any action taken by the employer to comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004.
  • providing a named, SunSmart approved sunhat (refer to Definitions) for their child’s use at the service
  • applying sunscreen to their child before the commencement of each session during the times specified in the Scope of this policy
  • providing written authority for staff to apply sunscreen to their child. Parents/guardians of children with naturally very dark skin may decide not to provide this authority to ensure their child receives adequate levels of vitamin D (Attachment 1). This should also be discussed with educators at the service
  • providing, at their own expense, an alternative sunscreen to be left at the service if their child has a particular sensitivity to the sunscreen provided by the service
  • wearing a sunhat, clothing for sun protection (refer to Definitions) and sunglasses (optional) when outside at the service, applying sunscreen and seeking shade during the times specified in the Scope of this policy.

Service policies

Procedures

The Approved Provider is responsible for:

The Nominated Supervisor is responsible for:

Certified Supervisors and other educators are responsible for:

Parents/guardians are responsible for:

Volunteers and students, while at the service, are responsible for following this policy and its procedures.

Evaluation

In order to assess whether the values and purposes of the policy have been achieved, the Approved Provider will:

  • regularly seek feedback from educators, staff, parents/guardians, children, management and all affected by the policy regarding its effectiveness
  • monitor the implementation, compliance, complaints and incidents in relation to this policy
  • keep the policy up to date with current legislation, research, policy and best practice
  • revise the policy and procedures as part of the service’s policy review cycle, or as required
  • notify parents/guardians at least 14 days before making any change to this policy or its procedures.
  • Attachment 1: Authority for staff to administer sunscreen

Attachments

Authorisation

This policy was adopted by the Approved Provider of Elsa Macleod Kindergarten in September, 2013

Review date:    February, 2020

Acknowledgements

This policy has been reviewed and approved by Cancer Council Victoria on 5 March 2012.