Churchlands SHS gets new sun protection thanks to funding grant

Stock image.
Stock image.

WHILE the weather is heating up Churchlands Senior High School students will be better protected from the sun thanks to a $5000 grant for new marquees.

The Shade for Secondary Schools program funded by eftpos will provide funding for an additional 19 high schools across Australia to install permanent shade or a marquee on their grounds.

Cancer Council’s National Sun Survey found 61 per cent of Aussie teens spent time out in the open during peak UV on weekends, increasing their risk of skin cancer.

Cancer Council WA SunSmart manager Mark Strickland said helping teenagers to be sun smart at school was vital.

“Skin damage is cumulative meaning it adds up over the years. Once the damage is done, it can’t be undone. Much of the sun damage to our skin that causes skin cancers in later life occurs in during our teenage years,” Mr Strickland said.

Churchlands Senior High School head of health and physical education Chris van Maanen said the shade grant for marquees would greatly benefit the school’s 2500 students.

“The marquees will be used at numerous sporting and school events throughout the year, providing shade for students,” he said.

“Sun protection is important at our school, and we have also introduced a bucket hat and students are required to wear them for PE classes in Years 7 to 10.”

A full list of successful schools can be found at cancer.org.au/shade-for-schools.

Key findings of the National Sun Survey included:

– 75 per cent of teenagers doing activities in public parks/gardens said shade was not available

– 68 per cent of teenagers doing activities at sports grounds/centres said that shade was not available

– 50 per cent of teenagers doing activities at the beach, lake or river said shade was not available.

– 61 per cent (or 3 in 5) of teenagers were at least half the time out in the open during peak UV on weekends, the remaining 39 per cent were either indoors or mainly in the shade.

– Of those teenagers who stayed mostly out in the open during their weekend activities, 68 per cent said that it was not possible to do their weekend activities in the shade. The main reason given was lack of shade available for their activities.