AS THE SunSmart season arrives, Kyabram Community and Learning Centre is being recognised by the Cancer Council for its 18 years of membership of the SunSmart Early Childhood Program.
The program encourages early childhood services to take SunSmart steps to reduce the harm of ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
Kyabram Community and Learning Child Care Co-ordinator Emily Edgar said the service had first joined the program in 2000.
“Early childhood is such a crucial time in determining lifetime skin cancer risk, and children attend our service during peak UV times and are often engaged in active, outdoor play,” Ms Edgar said.
“We are proud of the role our service is playing in creating the next SunSmart generation.”
SunSmart Schools and Early Childhood Co-ordinator Justine Osborne congratulated the Kyabram service for its commitment to the SunSmart message.
“Skin cancer is Victoria’s most common cancer and yet most cases can be prevented with good sun protection practices,” Ms Osborne said.
“For early childhood services, this is as simple as encouraging children to wear clothes with longer sleeves and collars, and teaching them about slopping on sunscreen and slapping on broad-brimmed hats.
‘‘It’s also important to offer shaded play areas and for staff to role model SunSmart behaviour.”
Australian melanoma rates show the incidence of the disease has dropped for people aged under 40, consistent with the positive impact of skin cancer prevention programs like SunSmart, and the long-term commitment by services like Kyabram Community & Learning Centre.
The Bureau of Meteorology includes the maximum UV level and sun protection times for several hundred locations across Australia, available from bom.gov.au/uv or on the free SunSmart app.
Live UV data is also available on the app.