skin cancer prevention bannerwoman applying sunscreen to young girl's face

EVERY time skin is exposed to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) from the sun or indoor tanning, the structure and function of our skin cells change which accumulates and can lead to skin cancer.

Children are especially at risk for damage from the sun as they have thin skin and are outdoors more than any other age group.

In Canada, skin cancer is the most common cancer and is on the rise. It's also one of the most common cancers in adolescents and young adults.

Schools can create a safe environment for children to learn and play and staff to work by creating awareness, and implementing a skin protection curriculum. Increasing shade by planting trees and installing shade structures on the school site protects users from the sun.


A Public Health Nurse (PHN) is available to provide consultation with school staff, students and parents on how to develop sun protection policies, guidelines and procedures and how to create shade. To speak to a PHN call 519-575-4400 or TTY 519-575-4608.

Curriculum Resources

Sun protection (personal protection practices)

  • Grades K - 12: Sun safety curriculum (Melanoma Network of Canada and Ottawa Public Health) *Tool kits listed in curriculum are only available in Ottawa, not Region of Waterloo.
  • Through your Board's courier you can borrow and return resources with lesson plan ideas, games, models, DVDs, posters, and more from the Public Health Resource Centre. Click on the Lending materials link below to find resources in our catalogue. To request a resource: click on the resource in the catalogue and select Request or contact us at 519-575-4400 ext. 2256, or
    • Lending materials - includes a three-panel magnetic display (panels can be used separately or together)

    • Pamphlets - available for ordering or downloading

Video (30 sec.) - The dark side of tanning (unintentional tanning, males playing sports) - Cancer Council Western Australia


Video (30 sec.) - The dark side of tanning ( intentional tanning, female tanning on the beach) - Cancer Council Western Australia

Fact sheets, guidelines, legislation, definitions...


Creating shade for children, staff and parents - Resources to get you started in bringing shade to your school:

Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) and skin cancer