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Sun Safety

Sun Safety Tips for School Staff and Families

Nearly 5 million people are treated for skin cancer each year in the United States. Skin cancer can be serious, expensive, and sometimes even deadly. One bad sunburn in childhood doubles the risk of skin cancer later in life. Fortunately, most skin cancers can be prevented.

  • Ultraviolet (UV) rays—from the sun or from artificial sources like tanning beds—are known to cause skin cancer.
  • Damage from exposure to UV rays builds up over time, so sun protection should start at an early age.
  • Keep students sun safe, and teach them to avoid indoor tanning.


  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat (at least 4-inch brim) or a baseball-type hat with back and side flaps that produces a shadow that covers the face and neck.
  • Wear tightly woven, loose-fitting clothing that covers as much of the body as possible.
  • Reduce sun exposure from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., when UV rays are strongest.
  • Find shade (trees, physical structures) to shield you, especially from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Use sunglasses that include a warranty stating that they provide 100 percent UVA and UVB (board-spectrum) protection.
  • Liberally apply sunscreen to exposed skin 15 minutes before going outdoors.  The sunscreen container should indicate a sun protection factor (SPF) rating of 30 or greater and should state that it provides broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB) protection.  Depending on outdoor conditions, sunscreen should be reapplied at least every two hours.

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