WA’s early learners come out on top in SunSmart Survey
Over 400 early childhood education and care (ECEC) services have been named as giving children the best SunSmart start to life in the latest SunSmart survey, with Cancer Council WA saying that children attending ECEC services in suburbs such as Morley, Mirrabooka, Helena Valley and Bassendean had the highest levels of sun protection compared to any other age group.
Local media reported that, according to the Cancer Council’s 2018 National Early Childhood Sun Protection Survey results, WA children in the zero to five age group attending ECEC services achieved “near perfect sun protection”.
In achieving the “practically perfect” results, 94 per cent of children on the day of the survey were wearing sun protective clothing, 96 per cent had a hat and 98 per cent wore sunscreen. Of ECEC services surveyed, 97 per cent have adequate shade and 96 per cent of services check UV (ultraviolet) index levels every day.
Speaking with the Eastern Reporter, Cancer Council WA SunSmart manager Mark Strickland said the high sun protection standard in the ECEC sector had “a noticeable impact on the long-term health of children”.
“As a result of the work done in childcare centres and schools in WA, over the past 20 years we’ve seen a downturn in melanoma rates in people in the 15 to 39 age group,” he said.
Mr Strickland was especially pleased with the fact that children had the opportunity to share the SunSmart message with their families and communities, saying that currently, only 32 per cent of WA adults were found in sun protective clothing during summer, with just over half of those surveyed wearing a hat.
Services seeking more information about how to promote sun safe practices in their setting are invited to visit Generation SunSmart.