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School Girl

Why Get Involved | Skin Cancer Facts | Duty of Care

It’s common knowledge that whilst some sun is good for us, over-exposure to UV is a serious health
risk and the primary cause of skin cancer and melanoma. UV is a known carcinogen, damage from
UV is accumulative and irreparable and burning as a child can dramatically increase a persons risk of
developing the disease in later life. With children spending almost half their childhood at school, where they
are outdoors every day, during peak UV hours (11am - 3pm), it’s imperative to ensure that they are adequately
protected from UV and understand the importance of enjoying the sun safely.

Why Get Involved | Skin Cancer Facts | Duty of Care

Skin cancer is the most common and fastest rising cancer in the UK.
Melanoma, the deadliest form of the disease is now one of the biggest cancer killers in 15-34 year olds.
Experts estimate that by 2024 melanoma will become the most common form of all major cancers.
Sunburn in childhood can more than double a person’s chance of developing melanoma in later life.
Over 85% of all skin cancers are caused by over-exposure to UV.
Skin cancer is almost entirely preventable by adopting simple sun safe practices.

Why Get Involved | Skin Cancer Facts | Duty of Care

The NICE guidelines for skin cancer prevention make it clear that children should never be allowed to burn
and should be made aware of how important it is to protect their skin. Government guidelines recommend that
schools develop a policy on how to protect children when they are outside for more than a brief period in strong sunlight.
The Department for Education makes it clear that schools are expected to take a sensible approach to tackling this issue.
It is therefore a schools duty of care to ensure that an effective policy is implemented and supported by parents.