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December 2012

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Students encouraged to slip, slop, slap

Minister for Health David Davis has pledged $1 million to SunSmart’s campaign to encourage Victorians to Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide this summer.

The announcement was made during a celebration – to mark 18 years of being a SunSmart school – at St Paul’s Primary School in Bentleigh.

Mr Davis presented a special plaque to commemorate the school’s long-term commitment to ensuring students, staff and families are SunSmart.

SunSmart Manager Jen Makin said the $1 million would enable SunSmart to continue to remind Victorians of the importance of sun protection, especially during the summer months.

‘More than 40,000 Victorians are diagnosed and almost 400 die from skin cancer each year.

‘Clearly, we need to reduce this significant health burden in Victoria,’ Ms Makin said.

VicHealth Chief Executive Officer Jerril Rechter said the SunSmart Program was one of the most successful health promotion programs in Australia.

‘The SunSmart program has set new standards in health promotion and is leading the way in reducing ultraviolet radiationrelated (UV) harm.

‘This has led to programs such as the SunSmart Schools Program and important work internationally.’

The SunSmart Schools Program was established after ongoing research revealed over-exposure to the sun during childhood increased future skin cancer risk.

‘Schools play an integral role in the reduction of future skin cancer rates because significant UV exposure occurs during childhood and adolescence and children attend schools during times of peak UV levels,’ Ms Makin said.

‘SunSmart schools work hard to create sun-safe environments and influence lifelong SunSmart habits through education and positive role modeling.

‘The program has come a long way over the past 18 years with 90 per cent of Victorian primary schools now participating,’ Ms Makin said.