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Sun Safety in Schools

The most effective way for school communities to ensure the best possible outcomes in support of children and youth, is to use a comprehensive approach.  Comprehensive School Health is an internationally recognized framework. The Ontario Ministry of Education supports this comprehensive approach with Foundations for a Healthy School which suggests that schools implement activities under the following five components in order to effectively address a health-related topic, (e.g. sun safety).

Curriculum, Teaching and Learning

Offering a wide range of opportunities for students to learn, practice and promote positive and healthy behaviours. Visit our Educators pages for more information, lesson plans, curriculum supports and resources to support classroom teaching related to Sun Safety:
  • For Elementary Educators
  • For Secondary Educators
  • To support staff who are teaching sun safety consider workshops, conferences or inviting field experts to speak at professional development day.

School and Classroom Leadership

School and classroom leadership focuses on creating a positive classroom and school environment by identifying shared goals and priorities that are responsive to the needs of the school community.

The following is an example of a strategy that could assist your school in promoting school and classroom leadership:

  • Peer to peer teaching re: sun safety; model appropriate sun safety practices by parents and staff.

Schools can consider integrating a Sun Safety Policy into their school improvement planning process. Learn more about the Canadian Cancer Society SunSense program which consists of a "how-to" guide for school along with FREE tools and resources to assist in the implementation of this policy.

Student Engagement

Student engagement refers to the extent to which students identify with and value their learning; feel a sense of belonging at school; and are informed about, engaged with and empowered to participate in and lead academic and non-academic activities.

The following are examples of strategies that could assist your school in engaging students:

  • Actively engage students in creating sun safe vibrant, rich environment by planting trees to create a healthy ecosystem and habitat as part of the Ontario EcoSchools certification program
  • Organize theme week or month celebrating National Sun Awareness Week (June).

Social and Physical Environments

Healthy, safe and caring social and physical environments support learning and contribute to the positive cognitive, emotional, social, and physical development of students.

The following are examples of strategies that could assist you in promoting supportive social and physical environments at your school: 

  • The SunSmart website contains a variety of sun-safety campaigns, including the internationally recognized skin cancer prevention program including the Slip! Slop! Slap! campaign (Cancer Council Victoria, Australia).

Home, School and Community Partnerships

Home, school and community partnerships engage parents, extended family, school staff, child care and family support programs and community groups in a mutually beneficial way to support, enhance and promote opportunities for learning and well-being. Community partners provide consultation, resources and services to support staff, students, and families. 

The following are examples of strategies that could assist you in promoting home, school and community partnerships at your school:

Additional Resources

  • 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.

Have additional questions?

Contact Health Connection:  705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520 or email.

Are you concerned about a student and/or would like additional information related to counselling or community supports? Find out where to get help

If you would like assistance in developing an action plan for this sun safety, contact your SMDHU Healthy Schools public health nurse through Health Connection by calling 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520.

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