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Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer and the incidence is increasing.

The SunSense program supports schools in creating a sun safe environments by providing tools and resources to schools to develop sun safety policies, increase awareness and educate about sun safety practices and enhance shade on the school yard.

Please contact us at:

Register Your School

  • About the program

    The Canadian Cancer Society (Ontario Division), Evergreen and Ophea have collaborated to provide easy to understand information and free tools that support schools in fostering sun safety. Learning about sun safety and how to enjoy the outdoors in a healthy and safe way is an essential part of every child’s education.

    There are compelling benefits to children playing and learning outdoors. Appropriate sun safety habits are essential to maximize health and enjoyment all year round and prevent skin cancer, one of the most common and preventable types of cancer in Canada.

    Schools can practise SunSense by:

    • developing their own school SunSense policy.
    • building SunSense into everyday school routines.
    • enhancing shade on the school grounds.
    • increasing awareness about SunSense practices.

    On behalf of the SunSense Team, we thank you very much for your interest in our sun safety program. It is important to all of us to help you educate Ontarian children, families and caregivers on how to prevent and reduce their risk of developing skin cancer. To learn more about skin cancer prevention, click here or call 1-888-939-3333.

    For questions or concerns, please contact us at:

  • Program components and resources

    The SunSense program consists of a policy “how-to” guide for schools along with FREE tools and resources have been developed to assist in the implementation of this policy and educate students, staff and parents about sun safety.

    Free SunSense tools and resources available for download and / or order include:


    This 20 minute webinar has been developed as part of our Sun Sense program to provide educators in elementary schools a greater understanding of sun safety and skin cancer prevention in schools. This webinar will also provide an overview of the Sun Sense program and the FREE resources available to schools that register for the program.

    To view the On-demand webinar

    click here

    Teaching Guide Grades 1 -3


    The Teaching Guide provides lessons and activities on sun safety and provides ideas on how to use the UV bracelets and baggage tags in the lesson.

    A presentation slide deck is also included to assist in delivering the lesson.

    Teaching Guide Grades 4 -6


    The Teaching Guide provides lessons and activities on sun safety and provides ideas on how to use the UV bracelets and baggage tags in the lesson.

    A presentation slide deck is also included to assist in delivering the lesson.

    Download Teaching Guide

    Download Presentation

    Policy guide

    A step-by-step process and supporting tools to develop and implement a sun protection policy for schools. This can also be adapted for other places where children play, learn and are cared for, including camps, post-secondary schools and child care centres.

    Info card

    A two-sided info card – SunSense tips on one side and importance of the SunSense campaign on the other. Can be used as a promotional tool.

    Sell sheet

    An overview of the SunSense program and its key components. Can be used as a promotional tool.

    Fact sheet

    The importance of sun protection and how schools can build a culture of SunSense


    Key SunSense tips on how to enjoy the outdoors safely that can be displayed across the school.

    + Available for order


    A checklist with key sun safety steps that can be can be personalized with your organization’s logo(s).

    UV Beads

    Ultra Violet (UV) beads come with a string that can be assembled in the form of a bracelet. Students can wear these as a reminder of the presence of UV rays and to practise SunSense when outdoors in the sun. Each package comes enclosed with SunSense tips.

    Order only

    For any questions, please contact the Sun Sense program lead at the Canadian Cancer Society at:

    To register and order materials, click here.

    Additional resources


    This video is a great resource to share with parents. has tips for families to protect their skin from the sun, and fun stuff and activities for kids.

    #newfamilyrule is a joint initiative of the David Cornfield Melanoma Fund & the Douglas Wright Foundation.

     Why Shade Matters


    This video highlights the importance of shade as well and provides insights on shade design and planning.

    Developed by the Shade Working Group of Waterloo, Canadian Cancer Society and Evergreen (2016)
     Watch video

     Sun Safety Sing-A-long

    A fun tool for teaching children about sun safety and how to apply sunscreen.

    Source: Melanoma Network of Canada

    Watch Video

  • About skin cancer

    Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in Canada and also one of the most preventable!

    While the cause of many cancers remains unknown, the reason for this most common cancer is too many sunburns and too much UVR exposure over many years. 1 in 7 people will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime; however, we know that this disease is largely preventable. People under the age of 18 are at the highest risk. Children and youth spend more time outside than adults do – in fact, 80% of people’s exposure to UVR occurs before the age of 18.

    Research indicates childhood exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is an important contributing factor to the development of skin cancer in later life. Given students are at school during the highest risk period of the day – between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. – schools play a major role in both minimizing students’ exposure and positively influencing student behavior by establishing and reinforcing healthy sun safe habits.

    Staying inside is not the answer. As Canadian children are spending more time indoors, physical activity is decreasing, childhood obesity rates are soaring, and there is a diminished sense of community amongst children. These trends are impossible to ignore. It is imperative that children spend time outdoors.

    By establishing effective routines, enhancing shade on school grounds, and developing and implementing a SunSense policy, schools can ensure that children are enjoying the range of benefits associated with time in the outdoors while being sun safe.

    To learn more about skin cancer prevention, click here or call 1-888-939-3333

  • Use your SunSense: create shade!

    Skin cancer is the most common cancer, is on the rise and yet is highly preventable. Shade in outdoor spaces is considered one of the most effective approaches to reduce exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) from the sun, which is classified as cancer causing. Shade can also encourage physical activity, reduce greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions, mitigate the urban heat island effect, and reduce energy costs.

    If your shadow is shorter than you, it’s time to find some shade!

    Shade Resources:

    The EcoSchools Designing for Shade and Energy Conservation Guide by Evergreen and the Toronto District School Board draws on greening practices specific to school boards and on emerging research about how best to provide natural shade where children play and learn.

    Ontario has a large variety of leafy canopy trees that provide excellent shade and protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays. For more information on practical tips for involving the school community in the design process, conducting a shade audit of the school ground, creating a planting plan and developing a fundraising strategy visit