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Being Sunsmart in your ELC

Did you know that Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world? You’re never too young to be sun smart, and it’s important that we instill sun-safe practices with the children in our care. But when they’re too young to understand, or don’t want to sit still for sunscreen, how and where do we start? Here are some tips to bring to your rooms

Sunscreen station – one of these at the entry to your room can encourage families to apply sunscreen when they arrive in the morning. With older children, if you put this on a table at their height and include a mirror, they can start to apply their own sunscreen as part of their daily routines.

Photos – print photos of the children wearing hats and place them around the room (a perfect addition to the sunscreen station!) so that the concept becomes familiar to them.

Dress-ups – include a variety of hats in play areas so children become used to having something on their heads.  It is important to start this with babies and toddlers. 

Model the behaviour – put on your own hat and talk about why you like it and why you are putting it on. You never know who is listening – so make sure to do it over and over, you could even sing a song about putting on your hat and sing it again when reminding children to put their hats back on while outside.