Hat’s off to Nanneella Estate Primary School
A NEW survey shows Victorian primary schools are leading the way in sun protection.
The National SunSmart Schools Program survey found Victorian schools led the way in enforcing hat use (100 per cent).
And Nanneella Estate Primary School has been one of those schools for almost 20 years.
Principal Ian Denson said hat use is a practice the school prides itself on.
‘‘The kids all have hat hooks and despite the colder weather the time we enforce wearing hats has been continually pushed out to earlier in the year,’’ he said.
‘‘It used to just be in the summer months but we started wearing hats this year in August.
‘‘Protection against the UV is something as a school we take very seriously.’’
The school will celebrate 20 years of SunSmart membership next year.
Although most Victorian schools actively encouraged sunscreen use (91 per cent) the availability in classrooms has dropped from 54 per cent (2011) to just 34 per cent last year.
SunSmart early childhood and primary school coordinator Justine Osborne said the lack of sunscreen was a blip on an otherwise positive report card — but one that could be readily fixed.
‘‘Victorian schools are making a fantastic contribution to skin cancer prevention in our state but sunscreen supply is one area where there’s definitely room for improvement,’’ she said.
‘‘The schools are on the right path with their other sun protection practices and the support is there for sunscreen but it’s just not being made available.
‘‘Fortunately, parents are ideally placed to help turn this around.’’
SunSmart is asking parents and families to support their child’s SunSmart school initiatives by supplying their child with sunscreen and making sure children know how to use it by practicing at home.
Kahlia Perry, Dylan Putt, Cooper Jenkins, George O’Shea and Shayllee Butler.