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Primary school pupils lead the way to sun safety

16 July 2015

Children in Year 4 won Public Health Bristol's 'Sun Safe' competition for their engaging video about how to stay protected in hot weather. The video explains why it's important to shield yourself from the sun's rays and gives some practical tips about how to do so, based on advice from Cancer Research UK. Pupils also designed posters with safety messages that were displayed around the school.

With malignant melanoma rates five times higher than they were in the 1970s, skin cancer is now the fifth most common cancer in the UK with more than 2,000 people dying from it each year, so it's more important than ever to teach children about the facts.

Christopher Paul, teacher at May Park Primary School, said: "Our Year 4 class put a lot of hard work into the sun safety video so I'm delighted that their efforts have been recognised. Competitions like this one help to engage children with serious topics in a fun way, and the children really enjoyed taking part. We hope that they'll tell their families about the competition so the safety message gets to as many people as possible."

Public Health's 'Sun Safe' competition was open to all schools in Bristol, and the winning school received £250 in vouchers to spend on outdoor and gardening equipment. Bristol's pharmacies are also helping to promote the messages with information available in stores.

Councillor Daniella Radice, Assistant Mayor for Neighbourhoods with responsibility for Public Health, said: "Skin Cancer is now the most common cancer in young adults aged 15-35. Public health is working hard to get the message across to children about the risks of cancer early on in their lives. As well as highlighting the prevention techniques, we also want to encourage people to check their moles regularly. If you're unsure go and see your GP."

May Park's video will be shown on the big screen in Millennium Square at the end of July and is available to GP surgeries to display. It can be viewed below.

May Park's top tips about how to stay safe in the sun:

  1. Stay in the shade between 11am and 3pm.
  2. Cover up with a t-shirt, hat and sunglasses.
  3. Apply SPF 15+ sunscreen with a high star rating, generously and often.
  4. Take extra care with children in the sun - getting burnt can double your risk of skin cancer. Keep babies and toddlers out of the sun.
  5. Report unusual moles or skin changes to your doctor - finding skin cancer early can save lives.

Primary school pupils lead the way to sun safety
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