As part of the SunSmart campaign the HSE’s National Cancer Control Programme, in collaboration with Healthy Ireland and cross-sectoral partners are working together to support people to protect their skin from the sun. The aim of the campaign is to increase awareness of the steps you and your family can take to protect your skin from the sun and reduce your risk of skin cancer in Ireland. You can watch some of the SunSmart campaign videos by visiting Skin Cancer Prevention: SunSmart – HSE.ie
Skin protection for children
Playing and spending time outdoors is good for your child. But it is important to protect their skin when outside in the sun.
- For children up to 1 year old, it is best to keep them in the shade and wear clothing that covers their skin when outdoors.
- It is better to protect babies up to 6 months old from sunlight by using shade and clothing rather than sunscreen. You may choose to use sunscreen sometimes on small parts of your baby’s skin. If you do, choose a sunscreen that is for babies such as sensitive or toddler sunscreen.
- Ultraviolet radiation (UV) is a part of sunlight. It can damage the skin and increase risk of skin cancer.
- Children’s skin is very sensitive to UV from the sun. Sunburn during childhood increases the risk of getting skin cancer as an adult. If your child is badly sunburned more than 3 times before the age of 20, they more than double their risk of skin cancer as an adult.
- In Ireland, UV from the sun is strongest from April to September between 11am-3pm, even when it is cloudy.
- Protect yourself and your children by being SunSmart as part of your daily routine from April – September.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in Ireland, yet is largely preventable by protecting skin from ultraviolet radiation from the sun or artificial sources. The National Skin Cancer Prevention Plan 2019-2022 provides information about how we are working to reduce skin cancer in Ireland. Find the Healthy Ireland SunSmart resources below for your use to reduce the risk of skin cancer.
SunSmart kids resources
- Downloadable colouring sheet for kids (jpg, size 1.7 MB, 1 page)
- Downloadable colouring sheet for kids in Irish (PDF, size 337.1 KB, 1 page)
- Create a SunSmart Kit and keep it close to the door for when you head out in the sun (JPEG, size 1.9 MB 1 page)
- Create a SunSmart Kit and keep it close to the door for when you head out in the sun (Irish) (PDF, size 297 KB, 1 page)
- Factsheet: Playing Outdoor: Skin protection for kids (PDF, size 1 MB, 1 page)
- Factsheet: Playing Outdoors Skin Protection for kids (Irish) (PDF, size 599 KB, 1 page)
- SunSmart powerpoint education slides for staff working with children: Playing Outdoor Skin Protection for kids
- Protecting Children’s Skin from the Sun: Your Questions Answered (PDF)
- Let’s Go Summer Camps Games Manual (PDF, size 3,304KB, 12 pages)
- SunSmart Primary School Lesson plans