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P. 10-13 /

Solar UV radiation in schools: issues and risks for children and adolescents

NATHAN DOWNS*, ALFIO PARISI
*Corresponding author
University of Southern Queensland
Centre for Rural and Remote Area Health
Toowoomba, Australia

Abstract

Teachers and students attending schoolspotentially face a harsh environmental solar exposure riskon a daily basis. Solar ultraviolet radiation is a knowncarcinogen, yet the realities of exposure to the sun arenot often detected until years or even decades later,until the development of a skin cancer or cancers arenoticed. Each new school year brings with it the potentialfor summer sunburn. Many individuals, teachers andschool children included, would be aware of the need tocover up, use hats, apply sunscreen and seek shadewhere possible while outdoors, but are these strategiesreally enough to protect school children from the harmfuleffects of exposure to sunlight in the long run? Theimportance of these strategies are presented and therole schools can play in instilling lifelong habits that willminimise the future disease risks related to childhoodexposures to sunlight are discussed.


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