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Sun Smart Policies Vital For Schools

29 November 2005

Sun Smart Policies Vital For Schools

Scientists’ warnings that ultraviolet rays will be at near record intensity this summer should be enough to prod the Ministry of Health into more significant action to protect our children says New Zealand First’s health spokesperson, Barbara Stewart MP.

“Australia and New Zealand have the most dangerous sun exposure in the world, but we lag behind Australia with regard to sun protection programmes in our schools.

“Children in school playgrounds during the peak period of 11.00 am to 4.00 pm should be wearing sunhats as a matter of course and the Cancer Society’s SunSmart School Accreditation programme should be introduced to all schools as soon as possible, said Mrs Stewart.

“The Ministry of Health’s Cancer Control Strategy acknowledges that New Zealand has one of the highest rates of melanoma in the world, but even that doesn’t seem to be ringing alarm bells as it should.

“Here we have an obvious need for a public education campaign and a school based policy, but seemingly only the Cancer Society, which is voluntary, is taking any action to improve our dreadful statistics.

“This is simply not good enough. The Ministry of Health is obviously aware of this situation and it is time to do something about it,” said Mrs Stewart.

ENDS

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