Sun Protection and More for Outdoor Safety in Childcare Centres

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Summer is a wonderful time for outdoor exploration in child care centres. However, this also presents a number of risks including bug bites, sunburn, allergies and dehydration. There is also the risk of injury from equipment that may be tripping hazards or from other environmental elements such as wind or rain. Educators need to be prepared to respond to these risks and help children stay safe by knowing what to look for, how to avoid them, and what to do when something does happen. URL :

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Children are natural explorers who push boundaries when they play outdoors. They may fall or scrape their knees, or they might have a near miss with an animal or a tree branch. Some injuries can be serious and it’s important that educators know how to identify and treat these so they don’t interfere with a child’s ongoing participation in outdoor activities.

The National Quality Framework requires approved providers to ensure that sun protection policies are in place and that staff implement them (regulations 168). This includes providing adequate shaded areas to protect young children from overexposure to UV rays during peak UV hours, e.g. between 10am and 4pm. It also includes educating families on sun protection practices and ensuring that children who attend child care are appropriately dressed in sun protective clothing, e.g. wide brimmed sunsafe hats.

Educators can also role model sun protection behaviours by applying sunscreen and wearing a hat themselves. This encourages children to follow suit and make sun protection a part of their daily routine. It’s important that childcare services also consider how they will support children’s agency, reflecting independence and choice in their sun protection practices.

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