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Draft a Policy

Objectives:

Based on your needs assessment, draft your initial policy statements. Take a look at the Minimum Policy for an example of a policy that will ensure that students are allowed to use sunscreen and hats outdoors during the school day.

Writing a policy is not easy, but help is available. To save time, you may consider adapting or adopting another district's or organization's existing policy to meet the needs of your school district. Sun Safe Colorado has written several Template Policies to aid you in this process.

The Policy Writing Assistant makes it easy to create a new sun safety policy specifically tailored to your school district’s needs. This unique interactive tool walks you through the steps of writing a new policy and does the work for you.

Propose the Policy

When you propose your policy to decision makers, it is often a good idea to propose several policy options from which they can choose, so bring several examples with you to the meeting. The local School Board or superintendent will probably want to know the financial implications of each policy option, particularly with regard to sun safe clothing, sunscreen, and shade structures.

Draft an Implementation Plan

Your team will also find it helpful to draft a plan for implementing and measuring the new policy while you are drafting the policy itself. For example, you may consider:

Answering these questions while you draft the initial policy will help your team anticipate challenges and prepare to meet them.

Keep Policymakers Informed

District decision makers do not like surprises. You need to keep your school district's policymakers informed about the proposed sun safety policy and obtain their support throughout the development process.

If you need further information on the policy development process, review the guidelines for schools that have been developed by national and international health organizations.

Adapted from USDA Team Nutrition’s The Local Process: How to Create and Implement a Local Wellness Policy, and University of Southern California Prevention Solutions’ Alcohol & Drug Policy Resource Manual for Schools by Mary Ann Pentz, PhD. (Unpublished).

DID YOU KNOW?:

Policy Tip

Consider including a ban on advertisements for tanning facilities in schools and in school publications. Tanning devices are carcinogenic, yet according to a recent survey of several Colorado counties’ high school newspapers 48% contained advertisements for tanning establishments1. If your district restricts advertising for cigarettes or alcohol, tanning facilities should not be overlooked.

1Freeman S, Francis SF, Lundahl K, et al. Arch Dermatol. 006;142:460-462.

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