Hartlepool Borough Council is working with nurseries across the town to encourage them to promote positive sun safe messages to children.
Public protection officers have been visiting nurseries to assess the policies and procedures in place for protecting children from over exposure to the sun.
The initiative – called Save our Skins – aims to encourage nurseries and now schools to become ‘Sun Safe’ accredited, a national scheme to ensure young children are protected from the damaging effects of the sun.
It comes as 80% of skin cancers are caused by overexposure to ultra violet radiation, making it one of the most preventable diseases.
Sun Safe Nurseries is an initiative developed by the national skin cancer charity ‘Skcin’.
Three Hartlepool nurseries – Little Treasures, based at Belle Vue Community Sports and Youth Centre; Little Stars, based at Kilmarnock Road Community Centre; and Aldersyde Day Nursery, on the Parade, Grange Road – are already fully accredited.
Louise Wallace, director of public health at the council, said: “The initiative is all aimed at planting the seeds of sun safety not just at home but in the classroom to ensure children grow up with sufficient knowledge.”
Over the course of the next academic year, the council will be encouraging more nurseries in the town to become accredited under the Sun Safe initiative.
Claire Wainwright, nursery co-ordinator at Little Treasures Day Nursery and Little Stars Day Nursery, said: “We already knew about the importance of ensuring our young children are adequately protected during the hours they are in our care and we were delighted to sign up to this initiative.”
“It isn’t hard to gain Sun Safe status and I would encourage other nurseries across the town to sign up.
“There are some great teaching resources and downloads available which really help to bring the subject to life and the kids love the Slip, Slop, Slap, Song.”
To find out more about Hartlepool Borough Council’s Save our Skins scheme and the Sun Safe initiative visit www.hartlepool.gov.uk/sun-safe