Sun Safety Code
Blow the Whistle on Sunburn!
We’re proud to be supporting the Outdoor Kids Sun Safety Code; a FREE online resource bank for all those who work with children in a whole range of outdoor activities. Simply log on, follow some simple but effective guidelines to earn your Accreditation Mark and ensure that whenever young athletes are training or competing outside they are adequately protected from the sun. A downloadable toolkit provides promotional materials, designed to keep guidelines ‘front of mind’ and ensure that your good practice is supported by parents.
Go to www.oksunsafetycode.com
Devised by the Myfanwy Townsend Melanoma Research Fund, the Outdoor Kids' Sun Safety Code is partnered with the Youth Sport Trust, the Association for Physical Education (AfPE), the Child Protection in Sport Unit and sports coach UK. Following its launch in 2014, the Outdoor Kids' Sun Safety Code has increased its support to over 80 national governing bodies and outdoor activity groups, all of whom are encouraging their members to sign up and get involved.
On Your Marks…
If you are a group or individual that works with children outdoors, why not get OK accredited? Simply register at www.oksunsafetycode.com, read the ‘OK Guidelines’ and then select actions from a pre-formatted checklist to create your ‘OK Sun Pledge’; a tailored sun protection policy suitable for your activity and resources. Actions range from ‘leading by example’ to ensuring kids ‘re-apply sunscreen after lunch breaks’.
Ideas such as nominating ‘OK Sun Monitors’ to take the ‘Two Week Challenge’ will help kick start activity and ensure your pledged actions are maintained all summer. Downloadable resources including leaflets, posters and videos will educate, promote awareness and encourage you to re-think old habits and view sun protection as an integral part of your outdoor activity.
Just a few serious sunburns can increase everyone’s risk of melanoma by 80%. With 86% of melanomas attributed to excessive sun exposure, and levels of melanoma rising in the UK, sun protection habits need to change, and what better place to start than with those who spends prolonged periods outdoors.
Casey Stoney, who plays for Arsenal in The FA Women's Super League, said; “We all need to look at our sun protection habits. I spend a lot of time outdoors and understand how sun protection can be forgotten when focused on training. As a mum I protect my children’s skin and think more carefully about protecting my skin now, instead of aiming for a tan.”
Figures from Cancer Research UK show that the incidence of melanoma in the UK is now five times higher than it was in the 1970s; more than 13,000 people develop melanoma each year, compared with around 1,800 in the mid-1970s. The Skin Cancer Foundation estimates that 80% of lifetime sun exposure occurs during childhood and that just one blistering sunburn can double the risk of getting melanoma later in life. It is believed that targeting children’s attitudes and behaviour at a young age will encourage good habits which will last a lifetime.
Become a Champion
In 2016 the focus is on taking action; because as we all know, despite good intentions, sun protection doesn’t work in a kit bag! A campaign has been launched to recruit a team of OK Champions to help spread the word on the importance of sun protection and inspire others. OK Champions will be made up of people like you; coaches, volunteers, parents, carers, teachers and young people from all sports, who are keen to help create a healthier core nation. Click here to read more about OK Champions.
Lights, Camera, Action!
The short film, ‘Blow the Whistle on Sunburn!’ at the top of this page aims to inspire children to think twice about sun protection. It is also available via www.oksunsafetycode.com in a presentation format, perfect for screening in school assemblies and at club meets.