SunSmart is delighted to announce that 100% of Geelong Kindergarten Association (GKA) preschools are now members of the SunSmart Program, leading the way in ultraviolet (UV) protection.
SunSmart Manager, Jen Makin, said: "We are delighted to see such an excellent participation rate, highlighting the commitment of GKA members to a healthy UV exposure balance – one that minimises the risk of skin and eye damage, sunburn and skin cancer and helps with vitamin D."
"Now boasting the highest SunSmart participation rate in the state of Victoria, GKA parents can enjoy great peace of mind when sending their kids off to kinder knowing that the preschool has a comprehensive SunSmart policy in place. "
The GKA's Managing Director, Tina Martin, was thrilled with the announcement. "We are really pleased to have achieved a result of 100% participation rate in the SunSmart Early Childhood Program. Our staff should be proud of their efforts and commitment in ensuring that all of our centres are actively supporting such an important initiative."
Sixteen years after the SunSmart Early Childhood Program launched in Victoria, membership has grown and today Victoria boasts participation rates that are envied by the other states and territories. Currently 80% of early childhood education and care services across Victoria are registered members of the Program.
Skin cancer prevention is important and effective at any age but is particularly important during childhood and adolescence.
"Excessive exposure to UV when you are young has a significant impact on the risk of developing skin cancer later. It is important to start sun protection practices at a young age so children can develop responsible sun habits and behaviours," she said.
From September to April in Victoria, UV levels are high for much of the day. With the warmer weather, this is also the time of year when children are more likely to be outside in the sun, particularly around the middle of the day when UV levels are most intense. The sun's UV cannot be seen or felt, so it is crucial that whenever the UV is three and above, regardless of the temperature, children are well protected.
Ms Makin said: "We encourage all early childhood education and care services to check the SunSmart UV Alert for the daily sun protection times each day to find out what the UV levels are and when sun protection is needed. It is available as a free smart phone app, as a widget that services can add to their website, at www.SunSmart.com.au and in the weather section of the newspaper."