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Yarm Gwanga Sun Protection Guideline

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Section 1 - Overview

(1) Australia has the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world and sun exposure during childhood significantly increases the risk of developing skin cancer, melanoma and eye damage. Sand, concrete and water can reflect up to 85% of sunlight and intensify exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Educators can play a vital role in the long- term prevention of skin cancer and in teaching healthy sun habits to young children. They are responsible for preventing and reducing the risks from excess sun exposure while children who are in their care.

(2) This Guideline has adopted the principles of the NSW Cancer Council SunSmart Program and for the purposes of clause 168 (2)(a)(ii) of the Education and Care Services National Regulations is considered to be the policy and procedure.

(3) These Guidelines satisfy the following National Quality Standards:

  1. Quality Area 2 Children's Health and Safety - 2.3.2 Every reasonable precaution is taken to protect children from sun harm and hazard likely to cause sun-related injury/illness; and
  2. Quality Area A7 Leadership and Management - 7.3.5 Service practices are based on effectively documented policies and procedures that are available at the service and reviewed regularly.
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Section 2 - Scope

(4) Yarm Gwanga has a duty of care to ensure that all staff, children, families and visitors are provided with a high level of sun protection during the hours of the services operation. As such this Guideline applies to all UNE Representatives, children and families, and all visitors to the Yarm Gwanga services.

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Section 3 - Guideline

Outdoor Activities

(5) Yarm Gwanga will use a combination of sun protection measures throughout the calendar year, whenever UV Index levels reach 3 and above:

  1. From October to March, sun protection is required at all times. Between 11am and 3pm, extra sun protection is required and outdoor activities will be minimised. Minimising outdoor activities includes reducing both the number of times (frequency) and the length of time (duration) children are outside;
  2. From April to September (excluding June and July) the timing of outdoor activity is not restricted, but sun protection is mandatory; and
  3. In June and July when the UV index is mostly below 3, sun protection is not required. Extra care is needed for services in the far west and north of NSW and for all children who have very fair skin.

(6) All sun protection measures (including recommended outdoor times, shade, hat, clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen) must be considered when planning excursions and activities at Yarm Gwanga.

(7) Yarm Gwanga will provide and maintain adequate shade for outdoor play. Shade options can include a combination of portable, natural and built shade. Regular shade assessments should be conducted to monitor existing shade structures and assist in planning for additional shade.

(8) All outdoor activities will be planned to occur in shaded areas. Play activities will be set up in the shade and moved throughout the day to take advantage of shade patterns.

(9) Infants and children's body/water ratio mass is significantly different than from adults. Therefore, the risk of dehydration from outdoor play and hot weather is high and can be dangerous. Water will be offered to children throughout the day regardless of indoor/outdoor settings. Children in the all rooms are encouraged to bring in water bottles from home and encouraged to access them throughout the day. Cooled filtered water may be offered to infants and young children after bottle feeds if children show signs of continued thirst.

(10) Babies under 12 months will not be exposed to direct sunlight and are to remain in dense shade when outside. They will wear sun safe hats and clothing and small amounts of SPF30+ broad-spectrum water-resistant sunscreen may be applied to their exposed skin.

Hats and Clothing

(11) Educators and children are required to wear sun safe hats that protect their face, neck and ears. Baseball caps or visors are not sun safe hats.

(12) A sun safe hat is a:

  1. Legionnaire hat;
  2. Bucket hat with a deep crown and brim size of at least 5cm (adults 6cm); or
  3. Broad brimmed hat with a brim size of at least 6cm (adults 7.5cm).

(13) Children without a sun safe hat will be asked to play in an area protected from the sun (e.g. under shade, verandah or indoors) or can be provided with a spare hat.

(14) When outdoors, educators and children will wear sun safe clothing that covers as much of the skin (especially the shoulders, back and stomach) as possible. Midriff, crop or singlet tops/dresses, are not sun safe clothing. Sun safe clothing includes:

  1. Loose fitting shirts and dresses with sleeves and collars or covered neckline; and
  2. Longer style skirts, shorts and trousers.

(15) Children who are not wearing sun safe clothing will be asked to play in an area protected from the sun (e.g. under shade, verandah or indoors).

Sunscreen

(16) All educators and children will apply SPF30+ broad-spectrum water-resistant sunscreen 20 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every 2 hours.

(17) A bottle of sunscreen will be donated by each family at the start of each year for all the children in the room to share. However, if your child requires special sunscreen, this should be clearly labelled with your child's name and this sunscreen will only be used for your child.

(18) Sunscreen is to be stored in a cool, dry place and the use-by-date monitored.

Education and Information

(19) All UNE Representatives will actively role model all elements of this Guideline.

(20) Sun protection will be incorporated regularly into learning programs. Sun protection information will be promoted and made available to educators, families and visitors. Further information, support and free resources are available from the Cancer Council website www.cancercouncil.com.au/sunsmart or call the SunSmart Information Line on 02 9334 1761.

(21) Any further amendments to this Guideline will be made in consultation with Educators and the Yarm Gwanga Advisory Group.

(22) This service agrees to enforce this Guideline in line with the SunSmart Early Childcare Program recommendations and to inform the Cancer Council NSW of any changes to the service's policy and practices.

Authority and Compliance

(23) The Guideline Administrator makes these Guidelines.

(24) University Representatives must observe these Guidelines in relation to University matters.

(25) These Guidelines operate as and from the Effective Date.

(26) Previous Policies/Procedures/Guidelines relating to Yarm Gwanga Sun Protection are replaced and have no further operation from the Effective Date of this new Guideline.

(27) In accordance with NSW Cancer Council SunSmart Program, this Guideline is to be reviewed every three years.

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Section 4 - Definitions

(28) Effective Date means the day on which this Guideline is published or on such later day as may be specified in this Guideline.

(29) Guideline Administrator is the Director of UNE Life.

(30) Sun protection: To keep infants well protected from solar UV, Cancer Council Australia recommends using a combination of sun protection measures whenever UV Index levels reach three and above. These include: suitable clothing, sunscreen, broad-brimmed hat, appropriate shade and sunglasses.

(31) University Representative means a University employee (casual, fixed term and permanent), contractor, agent, appointee, UNE Council member, adjunct, visiting academic and any other person engaged by the University to undertake some activity for or on behalf of the University. It includes corporations and other bodies falling into one or more of these categories.

(32) Visitor includes, but is not limited to, students on practical placements, volunteers, community members and persons conducting inspections/audits.

(33) Yarm Gwanga: This refers to both the Yarm Gwanga Preschool & Early Education centre as well as Yarm Gwanga Vacation Care.