With summer well on its way, Primary 5 children across Northern Ireland - including St Patrick’s Primary School in Rasharkin - are learning about how intense the sun actually is with the help of the Cancer Focus Northern Ireland Sun Scientist project.
The charity has sent Sun Scientist packs to 167 primary schools that have signed up as part of the Cancer Focus NI Schools Health Education Package (SHEP) this year.
Niamh McDaid, Cancer Focus NI’s Cancer Prevention Officer, said: “Children are learning about sun intensity, investigating when the sun’s intensity is greatest and ways to reduce the risk of UV damage, including staying in the shade, covering up and using sun cream.”
The school packs include a lesson plan using an interactive PowerPoint presentation being delivered by teachers in the classroom. The children carry out practical experiments and complete the worksheet provided under the supervision of their teachers using UV beads that change colour when exposed to sunlight.
“Some of the key elements the children are exploring are the purpose of sun cream and how often it should be reapplied, as well as factual information about the sun and UV rays. The school packs include Lidl’s quality yet affordable own brand Cien sun cream, which has been donated by Lidl Northern Ireland to support the programme.
“Skin cancer is a very real issue for us in Northern Ireland with approximately 3,330 skin cancers diagnosed here each year. Since the 1980s we have seen almost a threefold increase in the incidence of malignant melanoma, the most aggressive form of skin cancer. Research indicates that over-exposure to sunlight in youth is a significant factor contributing to the development of skin cancer later in life.”
Sun Scientist links in with the CEA’s Key Stage 2 Northern Ireland Curriculum - Personal Understanding and Health. It develops a pro-active and responsible approach to safety in the sun, and is an excellent teaching tool for teachers.
Aoife Clarke, from Lidl Northern Ireland, said: “Lidl is delighted to be able to lend support to the Sun Scientist programme. With rates of skin cancers rising, Lidl is committed to spreading the message about safety in the sun.
“Our Cien sun care range is affordable and shows consumers you don’t need to break the bank to stay safe in the sun.”
For more information about Sun Scientist please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 028 9066 3281.