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Sun safety lesson starts early

Sun Safe Schools 02-05-2018 (Photo John Bugeja) On behalf of the Gib Goverment Dept Education and UK Skin Cancer Charity Skin. St Bernard's First School launching a pilot initiative, Sun Safe Schools.

Pupils from St Bernard’s School gathered together at Commonwealth Park yesterday donning hats and sunglasses to learn about sun safety.

Public Health Officers Emily Lopez and Daya Dewfall gave the children a short lesson on the importance of protecting their skin.

The pupils aged between five and six years showed off their knowledge and their protective sun hats as they answered questions such as what SPF sunscreen they should be wearing.

Teachers Sonia Lopez, Mandy Golt and Kayleigh Casciaro organised the sun awareness event after the school was contacted by Skcin, a UK Skin Cancer charity.

The charity aims to evoke a culture change and a shift in attitude towards sun safety.

“Skcin are delighted that schools in Gibraltar wish to support our Sun Safe Accreditation,” said Skcin’s National Business Development Manager Marie Tudor.

“The scheme goes from strength to strength, every year with increased registrations from schools and nurseries and workplaces.

85% of skin cancers are caused by over exposure to UV, so 85% of cases are preventable. Education of sun awareness is key.”

St Bernard’s School is piloting the scheme in the hopes that other local schools will join.

As part of the sun safety initiative children will read ‘George the Sun Safe Superstar’ in class with the pupils expected to present their findings to the rest of the school later this year.

“Sun awareness in children is vitally importance,” Mrs Lopez told the Chronicle.

“It set a precedent for the rest of their lives. If they burn while they are younger they have a higher chance of skin cancers and melanomas in later life.”

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