Breaking News!

Some school districts have already responded to the California law pertaining to sun protection.  Unfortunately, some of these same districts have neglected to effectively communicate or encourage the implementation of their new policy to the school community.

UV radiation is a significant health hazard that is encountered at school, at school-sponsored activities, and elsewhere.  We hope that schools will not only adopt a comprehensive sun safety policy but also go the distance to ensure that the policy is effectively disseminated to parents, students, and personnel.


Provide parents with background information that outlines why sun safety is so important in the fight against skin cancer.  Explain the details of the school’s policy and urge parents to partner with the school to encourage student sun-safe behavior both at school and at home.  Remind parents to “walk the walk” themselves.  Convey messages in multiple media, such as letters, E-mail, the school website, and parent-teacher meetings.  Ensure that when parents search for details pertaining to the school’s sun safety policy, such as what type of hat is allowed, it will be relatively easy to find.


Sun safety policy and recommendations should be reviewed at the beginning of each school year and again during the first week of March.  This might be combined with sun safety instruction and, in elementary school, a screening of The Sun Show.  Keep sun safety on students’ radar through announcements and reminders tied to the UV index, sun safety tips, posters, items for sale (school hat, sunscreen, playshirt, etc), and of course seeing teachers who model sun-safe behavior.  Send students off for spring and summer vacation with the reminder to:  “Stay sun-safe!”


Teachers might need to be informed of certain policies directly affecting them as employees, as well as others pertaining to the student body which they could help to enforce.  Pre-service and in-service training should include a policy review along with general sun safety education.  In order to increase their level of motivation and willingness to model sun-safe behavior, help teachers understand the stakes.  They must know that they and their students can reduce the risk of dying from skin cancer through the practice of sun safety.  Ask teachers to devote extra attention to children whose skin cancer risk is higher due to light skin color.

Other Personnel

Extend pre-service and in-service training to other school personnel who work outdoors or who are in a position to influence student behavior relative to sun safety.



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