June 8, 2023 CDC Shares Sun Safety Tips for Schools The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have shared sun safety tips for schools, as recess and other outdoor activities can excessively expose children to the sun. Teachers, school administrators, child care providers, out-of-school time (OST) professionals, and support staff can take steps to protect students from sun exposure and developing sun-related skin conditions later in life. Sun Safety Tips For Schools Increase Shade Provide shade structures or trees. Move outdoor activities to shaded areas. Plan for shade when developing or renovating school buildings, playgrounds, or athletic fields. Shade Planning for America’s Schools [PDF-975KB] can guide you. Promote Sun-Safe Behaviors Encourage students to wear hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen outdoors. Try to avoid scheduling outdoor activities when the sun is strongest. Provide breaks during outdoor activities so that students can reapply sunscreen and get water. Use Proven Educational Programs Proven skin cancer prevention interventions and educational programs are available for child care centers and schools. The National Cancer Institute’s Evidence-Based Cancer Control Programs website lists sun-safety programs for schools. Additional Information & Resources About UV Rays and Sun Exposure Ultraviolet (UV) rays are an invisible kind of radiation that comes from the sun, tanning beds, and sunlamps. UV rays can damage skin cells. Protection from UV rays is important all year, not just during the summer. UV rays can reach individuals on cloudy and cool days, and they reflect off of surfaces like water, cement, sand, and snow. In the continental United States, UV rays tend to be strongest from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daylight saving time (9 a.m. to 3 p.m. standard time). The UV Index forecasts the strength of UV rays each day. If the UV index is 3 or higher in your area, protect skin from too much exposure to the sun. Additional Resources The following resources offer additional information on sun exposure and sunscreen application: Guidelines for Applying Sunscreen in a Child Care Program, Extension Alliance for Better Child Care Summer is Here and So Is the Sun, PennState Extension: Better Kid Care Sunscreen Protection, Pennsylvania Department of Education Sunscreen FAQs, American Academy of Dermatology Association Sunscreen: How to Help Protect Your Skin from the Sun, U.S. Food and Drug Administration Learn More To learn more, visit the CDC website.