‘Get SunSmart!’ Children’s Art Competition launched for primary schools

The Minister for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy, Hildegarde Naughton, has welcomed the launch of the Get SunSmart! Children’s Art Competition.

An initiative of Healthy Ireland in collaboration with the HSE’s National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP), the competition is open to all primary school children.

Depending on their age category, children will be invited to complete the SunSmart colouring sheets or draw their own picture showing how to be SunSmart.

The competition is designed to help educate young people about the importance of protecting skin while enjoying time outdoors.

Children and young people are particularly vulnerable to the damaging effects of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.

However, skin can be protected by following the 5 Ss. These simple protective behaviours should be practised daily, especially from April to September when the intensity of UV radiation from the sun is greatest, even when it is cloudy.

The SunSmart 5 Ss are:

Slip on clothing that covers your skin such as wearing long sleeves, collared t-shirts;

Slop on broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) water resistant sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30+ for adults and 50+ for children, with high UVA protection. Reapply regularly;

Slap on a hat with a wide brim: Protect your face, ears and neck.

Seek shade: Sit in cover of trees to avoid direct sunlight and use a sunshade on your buggy or pram. Keep babies and children out of direct sunlight.

Slide on sunglasses to protect your eyes.

Supported by Healthy Ireland, the SunSmart campaign is an initiative under the National Skin Cancer Prevention Plan 2023-2026. It uses a range of platforms to amplify its core messages about skin protective behaviours.

The Get SunSmart! Children’s Art Competition runs until 5pm on 31 May 2023.

There are three age categories with a prize for the winner in each category. The three age categories are junior infants to 1st class; 2nd to 4th class, and 5th and 6th class.

The winner in each age category will receive an OPW Family Heritage Card which provides free admission for 2 Adults and 3 Children into all fee-paying State managed sites for one year, a family day pass for Dublin Zoo for 2 adults and up to 4 children and a National Book Token worth €20. Runner-up prizes of a Healthy Ireland SunSmart kit will also be awarded in each age category.

For details of the competition rules as well as instructions on how to enter, see the competition webpage at gov.ie/getsunsmart

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