Learn about: skin cancer, being SunSmart, and how to incorporate sun protection strategies into your day to day activities.

Generation SunSmart

Hat wearing is consistently identified as one of the biggest challenges in becoming a SunSmart School. Below you will find some of the most common hat challenges and some ways to overcome them.

Students not wearing hats

  • Strongly enforce school rules such as “no SunSmart hat, play in the shade”.
  • Initiate ‘Hattslotto ‘and hat decorating competitions to encourage students to be more accepting of hats. Hat decorating competitions could also be integrated with other themes such as hats worn in different countries or hats worn by book characters.
  • Present SunSmart awards at assemblies for children who consistently wear their hats or integrate a classroom reward system to provide positive reinforcement and encourage SunSmart behaviour.
  • Hold hat wearing competitions between classes.
  • Give faction/house points for SunSmart behaviour.
  • Strongly enforce school rules such as “no SunSmart hat, play in the shade”.

Students misplacing hats

  • Suggest students leave a spare hat at school.
  • Involve students in the design and promotion of a sun protective school hat.

Hats not appropriate for sport

  • Schedule sporting activities as far from midday as possible and sports days in the winter months, where possible.
  • Test different hat designs for sport prior to making a decision about school hats (for example, firm brim, floppy brim, legionnaire, bucket hats). Involve the students in this study.
  • Explain to children that hat wearing is important, but also has to be practical.
  • Consider other options such as playing certain sports at different times of year, or playing sport earlier or later in the day or under cover.
  • Always reinforce that other sun protection measures, such as wearing sunscreen, should be use in conjunction with wearing a hat.

Older grades seeing the hats as being “daggy” and unfashionable

  • Talk to older grades about how the younger children look up to them as role models.
  • Present Year 6 students with a ‘special’ final year hat. Start a tradition that these are signed by all the students on the last day (as has been done with t-shirts in the past).
  • Ask students to paint their own design on their school uniform hat using fabric paints / puff paint (also helps distinguish whose hat it is).
  • Create a montage / poster of magazine images/ pop stars wearing appropriate sun protective hats.
  • Create a student lunchtime radio show that has a SunSmart announcement / reminder and one song at the beginning of the lunch period (preferably as students are eating their lunch inside).