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Brisbane students’ back-to-school lists should include Slip, Slop, Slap

Amongst the new pencil cases, exercise books and erasers, Cancer Council Queensland is urging Brisbane parents to stock up on SunSmart essentials as a back-to-school priority!

Cancer Council Queensland’s back to school SunSmart survival tips for Brisbane Kids:

Remember one is never enough

One method of sun protection is never enough. For best protection, you need to combine the five recommended behaviours: Slip on sun protective clothing, Slop on SPF 30 or above water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen, Slap on a broad-brimmed hat, Seek shade and Slide on wrap-around sunnies.

Make being SunSmart a healthy habit

Being SunSmart should be seen as a healthy habit, just like eating breakfast! Why not combine the two and encourage your Brisbane kids to apply SPF30 or above water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen every morning after breakfast? This will help them avoid incidental sun exposure during the trip to school.

Keep track of the time

Sunburn can occur in as little as 15 minutes on a fine January day in Brisbane, and when you take into account physical education lessons, sports practice sessions and lunchtime activities, sun exposure can easily add up at the end of a school day. Encourage your children to seek shady areas where they can eat and play.

Think inside the (lunch) box

Keep small 35mL tubes of SPF30 or above sunscreen in the kitchen cupboard, and pop them into the whole family’s lunch boxes every day. This will encourage them to apply sunscreen at lunchtime.

Be a Brisbane SunSmart role model

Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide. We know children whose Brisbane parents model sun protective behaviours are more likely to practice sun protective behaviours themselves, so make sure you lead your family by example!

Know the SunSmart rules at your Brisbane school

Schools with a written sun protection policy have the greatest number of students and staff protecting themselves from the sun. So if your child’s school is serious about sun protection, why not ask them to consider applying for SunSmart status?

Choose a hat that can keep up with them

Ensure your child has access to a SunSmart hat that protects their head, face, ears and neck from the sun. A drawstring also helps to keep their hat on their heads during fast-paced activities.

Pack spare sun protection supplies

Encourage your kids to keep a spare hat, tube of sunscreen and pair of sunnies in their school desk or locker. Don’t forget the long-sleeve swim shirt on swimming days!

For more information on reducing your skin cancer risk or Cancer Council Queensland, visit www.cancerqld.org.au or call the Cancer Council Helpline on 13 11 20.

Looking for more back to school tips? Check out our article on choosing the best school shoes for your child. 

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Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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