This is an H3
Coordinated School Health Program consists of eight interactive components. Sun safety elements can be incorporated into each piece:
- Health Education: Curriculum provided by qualified, trained teachers over a planned sequential K-12 system can teach students accurate sun safety information and techniques. Sun safety activities can be incorporated into many different subjects. The best way to create a successful prevention program is to teach sun safety in a variety of different ways throughout the student’s K-12 career.
- Physical Education: Often physical education includes playing outside. Encourage schools to schedule time outdoors during times of lower UV exposure or require students to wear sun protective clothing and sunscreen when they’re outdoors. Helping students develop healthy sun safe practices at school will help them be sun safe in other areas of their lives as well.
- Health Services: Nurses, doctors and dermatologists can visit the school to speak and answer questions about the dangers of overexposure to UV rays.
- Nutrition Services: Vitamin D, a necessary nutrient which prevents rickets and may even decrease cancer risk, is produced in the skin after sun exposure. The benefits and detriments of sun exposure should be discussed in tandem with an emphasis that Vitamin D production in the body does not take long and people should avoid overexposure.
- Counseling and Psychological Services: Some students will be more open to adapting sun-safe skills while others may resist a modified way of dressing because it does not fit with popular culture. It is important to create a social environment in which personal health decisions are supported and encouraged.
- Healthy School Environment: Overexposure to UV rays is detrimental to student health and well being. Efforts should be made to eliminate exposure to this recognized carcinogen by encouraging sun safe behaviors in students and staff, as well as scheduling outdoor time creatively and building shade structures or planting trees where appropriate.
- Health Promotion for Staff: Not only are staff members great role models for students in their own sun safe practices, but teaching staff members about the harms of sun exposure creates a healthier environment for employees and can help keep health costs down.
- Family/Community Involvement: Support from parents is integral to the success of a sun safety program. Parents can help students remember to apply sunscreen and bring sun protective clothing to school. Parents and community members can also help the school pass a sun safe policy with the school board.