Cancer Council Queensland and the Queensland Department of Health are turning the Sunshine State into the SunSmart State by funding sun safe initiatives in Brisbane organisations that care for kids.
Queensland has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world – around 370 skin cancers are diagnosed every day. In Brisbane alone, around 1176 people are diagnosed with melanoma each year.
Thanks to the joint initiative, the two organisations will call on not-for-profit organisations and schools in Brisbane to take action by applying for the SunSmart Grant Scheme before February 13.
Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said proper sun protection during childhood and adolescence reduced the lifetime risk of skin cancer.
“Skin cancer is largely preventable, and it’s worrying to think that inadequate shade could put kids at risk of long-term skin damage,” Ms Clift said.
“Childhood and adolescence are critical periods to manage UV radiation exposure and skin cancer risk – a very important time to intercept complacent behavior.
“It’s important all Queensland organisations caring for children have access to items that assist SunSmart behavior and reduce skin cancer risk.
“We also need to work hard to instill SunSmart behaviours in Queensland children to reduce their long-term risk.”
A Cancer Council report* on shade recommendations for early childhood identified shade as a vital means of sun protection that could reduce sun exposure by up to 75 per cent, but also encourage young people to take part in more exercise.
Data from the Cancer Council’s National Sun Protection Survey** shows funding concerns are the second most common reason schools don’t plan to increase shade structures, potentially putting young Queenslanders at risk of skin cancer.
Ms Clift urged not-for-profit organisations that care for children aged up to 17 years, including early childhood centres, outside school hours care, youth community groups and primary and secondary schools to apply by February 13.
“These grants will be a big boost to eligible organisations who have limited funds for sun safety,” Ms Clift said.
“We’re dedicated to instilling SunSmart behaviours in Queensland children and offering SunSmart grants that address funding gaps is one way we are able to do this.”
The SunSmart Grants Scheme offers funds for portable and permanent shade items for not-for-profit organisations that cater for children up to age 17.
Applications close at 5pm on February 13, 2015.
To apply for a grant, please complete the online application form at www.cancerqld.org.au.
Cancer Council Queensland recommends Queenslanders adopt all five recommended SunSmart behaviours to reduce the risk of skin cancer.
Slip on sun protective clothing, Slop on SPF30 or above broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen, Slap on a broad-brimmed hat, Seek shade and Slide on wrap-around sunglasses as best protection against skin cancer.
More information about Cancer Council Queensland and Sun Safety is available via Cancer Council Helpline 13 11 20 or on the Cancer Council website.
For interview opportunities, please contact:
Katie Clift, Executive Manager, Media and Spokesperson, Cancer Council Queensland
Ph: (07) 3634 5372 or 0409 001 171
For more information, please contact:
Kim Ryan, Senior Media Specialist, Cancer Council Queensland
* Shade recommendations for early childhood, National Schools and Early Childhood Working Group, National Skin Cancer Committee, Cancer Council Australia
** 2013–14 National Sun Protection Survey: Skin cancer prevention knowledge, attitudes and beliefs among Australians in summer 2013–14. Prepared by: Angela Volkov and Suzanne Dobbinson. Behavioural Science Division, Cancer Council Victoria . Prepared for: National Skin Cancer Committee, Cancer Council Australia.