COVERING UP: Dashel Hunter, 8 left, and Manu Vandeveerdonk, 9, of Coffee Camp Public School are SunSmart during swimming lessons at the Lismore Memorial Baths.
COVERING UP: Dashel Hunter, 8 left, and Manu Vandeveerdonk, 9, of Coffee Camp Public School are SunSmart during swimming lessons at the Lismore Memorial Baths. Cathy Adams

Schools going SunSmart

ONLY 46% of primary schools in the Northern Rivers have signed up to the SunSmart program run by the Cancer Council of NSW.

There are 20 non-Sun- Smart schools in Lismore and 22 on the Tweed.

SunSmart is a regional program helping primary schools to provide sun protection to students.

With the North Coast recording six of the top 10 "red zones" across NSW for melanoma, Cancer Council Northern Rivers Community Programs co-ordinator Rhian Paton-Kelly said the current SunSmart program will be extended to 60% of primary schools next year.

"The program is about supporting schools to develop policies to protect the kids," Ms Paton-Kelly said.

"It is quite alarming that more than half of schools have not signed up. The whole community needs to get behind this. It is not just up to the principal, one teacher or the P&C. Every- one needs to become involved."

Coffee Camp Public School teacher Deslie Banks visited Lismore Memorial Baths yesterday with some of her students.

The school has been SunSmart since last year and "it is not difficult at all". "They provided us with sunscreen for the kids, which is one less expense for the school," Ms Banks said.

"I have suffered skin cancer and the kids have seen me with patches on my face or neck after surgery. My own experience has made them more eager to learn about it."

Cancer Council NSW is currently accepting application for community grants for up to $3000.

"These grants are open to schools and community groups and can be used to support SunSmart behaviours.

"Applications close on Tuesday, December 11, and all enquires should be directed to the Alstonville office," Ms Paton-Kelly said.

Additionally, if the community wants to assist with our 2013 SunSmart schools blitz they can contact the Alstonville office to become part of the team.

PROTECT YOUR FAMILY

Be a role model, wear hats and protective clothing, use sunscreen and seek shade.

Remind your teenagers to protect themselves, show them the UV Alert.

Leave sunscreen and hats at the door.

Allow them to choose their own hat, sunscreen, clothing, rash vests and board shorts.

Time outings for early in the morning or later in the afternoon.

Take shade at the beach.

Source: www.sunsmart.com.au



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