Local cancer charity urges kids to get sun savvy as Northern Ireland temperatures soar

Gordons Chemist staff join Rebecca Oates, Cancer Fund for Childrens Schools Fundraiser as they urge local school children to get sun savvy.
Gordons Chemist staff join Rebecca Oates, Cancer Fund for Childrens Schools Fundraiser as they urge local school children to get sun savvy.

With the Northern Irish summer in full swing this week after experiencing a mini-heatwave, a local children’s cancer charity is encouraging children to stay savvy when it comes to the sun’s harmful rays.

Cancer Fund for Children is inviting schools from across Northern Ireland to participate in their annual Hats and Shades sun safety campaign.

The campaign, which was launched as part of Sun Awareness Week, which kicks off May 8 and lasts until May 14, aims to make sure local children are clued in when it comes to staying safe in the sun. Children are invited to wear their favourite hats and shades to school for a day, in return for making a donation to support local children and young people with cancer.

It comes as shocking statistics reveal that every week in Northern Ireland, three children, teenagers or young adults, aged between 0-24 years old, are diagnosed with cancer – Cancer Fund for Children works with around 350 families at any given time.

And with skin cancer being the fifth most common cancer in the UK, the charity is highlighting the importance of educating children from a young age.

Rebecca Oates, Schools and Youth Fundraiser for Cancer Fund for Children explained: “With the sun starting to make an appearance, it is essential that we teach children from a young age about the importance of taking care in the sun - from wearing high factor sun cream, to covering up with a hat and a long t-shirt when playing outside, and especially when the sun’s rays are at their strongest.

“Hats and Shades Day aims to educate children about the very simple steps they can take to stay safe in the sun. Over the last three years, Cancer Fund for Children has helped to educate over 12,000 primary and nursery school children about the importance of sun safety and raised a staggering £37,340 to support local families whose lives have been impacted by cancer.”

Schools can hold Hat and Shades on a day of their choice. Each participating school will receive an event fundraising pack including posters, sponsor forms and fun educational tools to help get the sun safety message across and make the day ‘a shining success.’

To sign up to take part, you can register online at cancerfundforchildren.com or email schools@cancerfundforchildren.com for more information.