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Sun Safety

Background

Youth spend a large portion of the day at school and it is essential to provide education about the importance of sun safety and to consider how to prevent over exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation for students when they are outdoors. 

There is no such thing as a safe or healthy tan, whether under the sun or in a tanning bed. The health risks of being exposed to UV radiation, from the sun or from tanning equipment, far outweigh the benefits. Children and youth receive up to 80% of their total UV life dose before the age of 18 (Health Canada). When you expose your skin to UV rays – whether from the sun, tanning beds or sun lamps – you increase your chances of getting skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer and also one of the most preventable. Teachers can serve as role models and start the conversation about the importance of UV radiation protection.

Curriculum Supports

  • Skin Cancer Foundation Resources for Schools – Here you will find a variety of classroom resources, including free lesson plans, videos and information which can be used to support teaching students about UV radiation from the sun and tanning beds.

  • Sun Safety Interactive Quiz – Have students test their knowledge about sun safety using this online ‘true and false’ quiz.

SMDHU Programs

The health unit offers a variety of programs and services for secondary schools (PDF), covering a wide range of health-related topics.

Additional Resources

  • “Be Sun Safe” Poster (PDF) – Print and hang this downloadable poster in your classroom to remind students about ways to be sun safe when working or playing outdoors.
  • Sun and Ultraviolet Radiation – The Canadian Cancer Society’s website contains credible background information on sun safety topics such as indoor tanning, the UV index, preventing skin cancer, vitamin D supplements and more.

Interested in taking sun safety beyond your classroom?  Check out these school wide initiatives.

Also, be sure to visit the sun safety section of the health unit’s website for more information related to health effects of sun exposure, ultraviolet radiation, sun protection, tanning, skin cancer, and more.


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