Sun safety

Download the Tip Sheet (PDF)
Prepare a 10-minute AMA Youth Run Club school health advocacy talk on “Sun Safety” based on the suggested talking points, below:
  • The sun – "good sun" / "bad sun"
    • Why the sun is good:
      • It keeps us warm.
      • It gives us light.
      • It makes things (like people and plants) grow and stay healthy.
    • Why the sun can be bad:
      • The sun has rays, called ultraviolet rays, or UV rays, that you can't see; they're invisible. UV stands for "ultraviolet radiation".
      • Too much exposure to UV rays, or UV radiation, can cause sunburn or skin damage that sometimes can lead to skin cancer.
  • Why sun safety is important
    • UV rays are invisible, so it's easy to forget that they're there and potentially harmful. It's important to protect/cover your body, when you're outside.
    • During the daytime, UV rays are present whether it’s sunny or cloudy, summer or winter.
    • Do you know what the "UV Index" is? It's a measure of the intensity, or strength, of the sun's ultraviolet radiation; that is, how "strong" the sun is and how, if it's strong enough, it could cause a sunburn.The UV Index ranges from 0 to 11-plus. The higher the number, the higher the UV levels. The highest values are found on mountain tops at the equator. In Canada, the UV Index generally varies from 0 to 10.
    • The UV Index is also affected by sky conditions and precipitation. The UV Index can rise when it's clear and sunny, regardless of whether it's a summer or a winter day.
    • Listen to the weather forecast; a "high" UV Index reading of six or seven means there is a high risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure. This tells you to be sure to protect your skin from too much exposure to UV rays..
  • Ask the kids: What can you do to protect yourself from exposure to UV rays? In other words, how can you be "sun safe"?

      Answers:

      • Cover up!
        • Wear long sleeves and pants.
        • Wear a hat; it should have a brim to protect your face, ears and neck.
        • Wear sunglasses.
      • Find shady places to run and play.
      • Apply sunscreen to skin that is not covered.

    Talk Support Tips

    • Dress the part: wear a hat (preferably with a wide brim), a shirt with long sleeves, long pants and sunglasses (or omit one and make it part of your talk for the kids to guess what you’re missing!)
    • Choose one of the following handouts (contact Janet Boyer, AMA Professional Affairs, to obtain copies):
      • Canadian Dermatology Association (CDA): "Be Sun Safe coloring sheet
    • Leave a pdf file version of this School Health Advocacy Talk tip sheet with the school's YRC coach, so he/she can play "Shadow Tag" (see below) with the students
    • See "Classroom Activities - Elementary - Sun Safety Activities and Projects" (source: Sun Safe Nova Scotia; Cancer Care Nova Scotia website - links under "Resources," below)
    • Contact Janet Boyer, AMA Professional Affairs (780.482.0305 / 1.800.272.9680, ext. 5305) to obtain a small give-away item to distribute to the students, post-talk.

    “SHADOW TAG”: A game to help teach sun safety

    • On a sunny day, find (or create with pylons) a defined outdoor space, large enough for several children to run around in.
    • Begin the game with one child as “IT” (the tagger).
    • Other kids start running, trying to stay far away from the tagger.
    • The tagger tries to step on the shadows of the kids he/she is chasing.
    • When the tagger steps on someone’s shadow, that player is out of the game.
    • The game is over when the tagger has stepped on everyone’s shadows.

    Resources

    HELPFUL HINT: Talk to the run club coach before selecting your topic; for coach contact information, contact Hayley Degaust, Provincial Projects Coordinator, Ever Active Schools (Hayley@everactive.org | 780.454.4745)

    SHADOW TAG game

    The Alberta Medical Association stands as an advocate for its physician members, providing leadership & support for their role in the provision of quality health care.