August marks ‘Hats On’ season in the ACT despite cooler weather
The beginning of August marks the start of ‘Hats On’ season for primary schools and early childhood services in the ACT, despite the cooler weather persisting, in recognition of the fact that ultraviolet (UV) levels begin to rise above three in August.
When UV levels reach 3 and above, a combination of sun protection behaviour is required to protect against skin damage that can contribute to skin cancer later in life.
The higher the UV level, the quicker unprotected skin can damage, regardless if you experience noticeable sunburn or not., Cancer Council ACT’s SunSmart Officer David Wild said.
“Whilst August is still a cold month in the nation’s capital, UV levels are on the rise to levels that warrant sensible sun protection,” he added.
Evidence suggests that during childhood and adolescence sun exposure plays a significant factor in the development of skin cancer later in life. Therefore, Cancer Council ACT said, it is imperative that Canberra schools and early childhood centres implement and manage an effective sun protection policy when UV levels reach three and above. Traditionally, this happens between the months of August and May in the ACT.
Wearing sensible clothing and hats, making sunscreen accessible to students and teachers, and taking advantage of shade are all important when practicing good sun protection behaviour. This means children, students and teachers can significantly minimise their lifetime risk of developing skin damage and skin cancer.
ACT teachers and educators can also upskill their knowledge around skin cancer prevention by logging on and completing Cancer Council’s free Generation SunSmart professional learning session.
To check the UV levels on any given day, the Cancer Council’s free SunSmart app and website are available to support.