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Schools ‘must educate children on sun safety’

The UK’s schools may not be doing enough to teach young people about the importance of staying safe in the sun.

This is according to charity the Teenage Cancer Trust, which has recently carried out a survey on the issue, the Press Association reports.

It found a shocking 97 per cent of teachers do not know if their school has a specific sun safety policy. Furthermore, half of the respondents said they have never encouraged pupils to wear a hat in the sun and nearly a third do not advise students to stick to the shade when the sun is at its hottest.

Meanwhile, 20 per cent have never told children to wear sun cream while at school.

Nigel Revell, director of education at the Teenage Cancer Trust, commented: “Schools are failing young people. It’s utterly shocking to see sun safety given such low priority. We know that burning skin at a young age can double the risks of skin cancer in later life.”

He claimed schools should follow the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommendations regarding sun safety and make sure children are taking steps to stay protected while on school grounds.

The Teenage Cancer Trust also carried out a survey of young people aged between 11 and 21 and found a third have never been educated on the dangers of the sun whatsoever.

Sam Smith, the charity’s head of nursing and quality in the north, said that while a small level of sun exposure is good for people as it boosts vitamin D levels, only ten minutes a day, three days a week is needed. She added that even at this low level of sun access, an individual’s skin type should still be taken into account.

Many schools are now installing shade sail canopies in a bid to improve the level of sun protection they provide, as these structures can block up to 98.8 per cent of harmful UV rays.

Here at Shaded Nation we are experienced in providing sun shades for schools and can create bespoke designs to suit your specific needs.

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