Scott Morrison: Please make sunscreen application mandatory in Australian Primary Schools.
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F.O.Y.A (Future Of Young Australians)
Melanoma is the number 1 cancer that is killing our young Australians aged 15 - 39 yrs, yet the Australian Government are not educating our children and their teachers / caregivers throughout primary school to apply sunscreen before heading out into the harmful UV rays in the school playground.
Further to this, it is estimated on average, about 750 children aged 0-14 years old are diagnosed with cancer each year in Australia, and on average, 101 of these children will lose their fight for life prior to the age of 15.
Australia has one of the highest rates of Melanoma in the world. Over 14,000 Australians are expected to be diagnosed with Melanoma in 2019, whilst one person every five hours will die from Melanoma in Australia.
Melanoma is directly caused by overexposure to harmful UV rays. Sun exposure in the first 10 years of life is crucial in determining a child's lifetime potential for skin cancer. Just five serious sunburns in early childhood can increase a child's risk of developing melanoma by 80%.
The 'no hat, no play' sunsmart policy has been a massive success in protecting young Australians from harmful UV exposure in the school playground, but the Australian Government needs to be providing more education to primary schools surrounding the applying of protective sunscreen daily in schools.
My proposal is that every Australian Primary School should be supplying SPF30+ sunscreen in the classroom for students to use before heading out into the school playground. It should be a mandatory "SunSmart" policy that if a child does not have sunscreen applied to their exposed skin during the specific times of high UV, then that child must stay inside a designated shade area as with the current 'no hat, no play' policy. When UV levels are higher than 3 in Australia, it is recommended that sun protection is applied according to the Cancer Council Sunsmart program. In Melbourne this would generally encompass the periods of January through to May, and then September through to December, but in such areas as Darwin or Brisbane for example, this would be "year round".
Currently all "SunSmart" compliant childcare centers and kindergartens within Australia, provide families with sunscreen or make it a compulsory item along with a hat that must be supplied by the parents. It is mandatory that all children have sunscreen applied to their exposed skin 20 minutes before heading outside into the harmful UV rays, yet our primary schools are not adopting the same 'sunsmart' strategies to protect our vulnerable children, at the most vulnerable stage in their lives.
I am writing this petition as a passionate mother and Melanoma widow. At the age of only 32 I lost my husband Shane Raisher, aged 32 also, to Melanoma. He was diagnosed too late at the young age of only 17. After watching him battle this terrible disease for 15 years and eventually lose his life, I am more than aware of the importance of protecting our vulnerable young Australians in any way that we can. As a now single mother of two boys aged 6 and 3, who no longer have a father due to Melanoma, I have been shocked at the many discussions I am constantly having with teachers and caregivers of the importance of my children requiring daily sunscreen application when they are in their care. It is something that worries me every day, wondering if the Australian education system is protecting mine and other vulnerable children from harmful UV exposure when we are not there to protect them ourselves.
Australian Government, please don't let more young Australians have unnecessary exposure on a daily basis in the school playground to harmful UV rays, and therefore the potential for the increased risk of Melanoma Cancer. There is a simple, achievable solution to reducing these dangers that is readily available to each and every one of us.
YOU, the Australian Government, can, and should, make a difference in protecting Australia's future!!!!
Thank you for reading and please support me by signing my petition. Together we can protect the Future Of Young Australians.
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