The Importance of an Effective Sun Policy

OK Sun Safety LogoThe Outdoor Kids Sun Safety Code – the only sun protection initiative for children in sport and outdoor activity – is back with a fresh, new look.  WASP joins over 100 national governing bodies of sport and major outdoor organisations to actively support the campaign and ensure sun protection has a vital part in safeguarding. 

With skin cancer the UK's most common and fastest growing cancer, the campaign urges individuals and groups who work outdoors with children to review their sun policies to ensure they create impact.

The Outdoor Kids Sun Safety Code was launched in 2014, and is is partnered with the Youth Sport Trust, Association for Physical Education (AfPE), Child Protection in Sport Unit (NSPCC) and UK Coaching.  All have collaborated with the Melanoma Fund - the charity behind the campaign -  to ensure all content is relevant to outdoor activities and have pledged to spread awareness to their members.

The campaign offers a set of guidelines in the form of the 'OK Code' and includes template policies, downloadable materials such as a UV Widget, and an accreditation scheme; all designed to keep action effective and consistent throughout summer. The aim is to decrease the incidence of sunburn, which is proven to increase the risk of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, by 50%.

The Melanoma Fund has produced two short films to promote the campaign launch, targeting not only those who work with children, but also parents. The first provides a sharp reminder that ‘words without action’ fail to protect children from the sun, and the second highlights how to create positive impact using the campaign's 5 key actions:

  1. PREPARE:  Ensure that everyone arrives ready for a day in the sun
  2. PROTECT: Use clothing, hats/sunglasses and sunscreen (SPF30+) reapplied at breaks
  3. SHADE:  Avoid direct sunlight during lunch or whilst spectating others
  4. HYDRATE: Ensure water is always available
  5. LEAD BY EXAMPLE:  Inspire children with your own actions

Julia Newton-Bishop, Professor of Dermatology at the University of Leeds says;

“Children’s skin is more sensitive than adults and DNA damage can be caused by repeated overexposure to UV light.  Although sun exposure is important for health – it is how we make vitamin D – sunburn increases our risk of skin cancer so ensure they’re protected, especially when out for prolonged periods, and educated on the risks by adults who lead by example.”

We believe that all children deserve the right to grow up without the threat of melanoma or skin cancer, and this is something you can impact on.  Visit www.oksunsafetycode.com - sign up, and help blow the whistle on sunburn!

pdfSun Safety poster

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