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Sunsense program

SunSense New Brunswick

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Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer, despite being highly preventable.

The SunSense program supports schools in creating a sun safe environment and developing a SunSense policy to protect staff and students through education and awareness of sun safe practices. By using a multi-component approach that engages parents, staff and students, schools can influence sun safety behaviours and create a sun safe culture within the school community.

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.

Why should SunSense be practiced in schools?

The Canadian Cancer Society’s School SunSense program is designed to educate younger people about the dangers of the ultraviolet radiation (UV rays), and to encourage them to follow the Canadian Cancer Society’s recommended guidelines.

Research indicates that childhood exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is an important contributing factor to the development of skin cancer later in life. But staying inside is not the answer. As Canadian children are spending more time indoors in front of screens, it is imperative that they enjoy the health and wellness benefits of being in the outdoors.

Given students are at school during the highest UVR risk period of the day - between 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM - schools can play a major role in both minimizing students' exposure and positively influencing behaviour by establishing routines that foster healthy, safe enjoyment of the outdoors.

  • Program Resources

    The Canadian Cancer Society provides a number of free tools and resources to assist you in meeting your goals. The documents listed below can be downloaded here free. UV Bracelets, Fortune Tellers, Parent Information Cards and Posters are available to schools registered in the SunSense program. An order form for these materials is included in the registration form.

    SunSense Teaching Guides Grades 1-3 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.

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

    Download Teaching Guide Grades 1-3
    Download Slide Deck Grades 1-3

     SunSense Teaching Guides Grades 4-5 Teaching Guide Grades 4-5

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

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

    Download Teaching Guide Grades 4-5
    Download Slide Deck Grades 4-5

     Letter to Parents 1-3 Letter to Parents

    This letter can be sent to parents to let them know that their children are learning about sun safety. It is a nice way to also educate parents and encourage them to reinforce these lessons at home.

    There is one letter for Grades 1-3 and one letter for Grades 4-5.

    Download Letter Grades 1-3
    Download Letter Grades 4-5

     Fact Sheet EN Fact Sheet

    The Fact Sheet can be used to educate parents, staff and students about skin cancer risk and the importance of practicing SunSense. These facts and stats really highlight the need for early intervention to prevent skin cancer.

    Download Fact Sheet

     Parent Info Card Parent Information Card

    These cards can be distributed to parents of children in the school to educate them on sun safety and help reinforce the lesson learned at school.

    Download Parent Information Card

     SunSense Trivia EN Activity Sheets

    Activity sheets are provided as additional teaching tools to reinforce lessons already learned about SunSense and to test sun safety knowledge.

    Download Trivia Sheet
    Download Crossword
    Download Word Scramble

     SunSense Flyer EN Flyer

    The flyer highlights key SunSense tips on how to enjoy the outdoors safely. Flyers can be displayed across the school to remind students to practice SunSense.

    Download Flyer

     Bracelet with UV beads UV Bracelets

    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 practice SunSense when outdoors in the sun. Each package comes enclosed with SunSense tips.

    The Teaching Guides above include lesson plan activities using the UV Bracelets.

     SunSense Fortune Teller Fortune Teller

    The Fortune Teller, sometimes called a chatterbox, uses origami to create a trivia game with questions about SunSense practices.

    If you have any questions, please contact the SunSense program lead at the Canadian Cancer Society at 1 800 455-9090.

    Click here to place your order for bracelets and fortune tellers.

  • Videos

    Videos can be a great tool to educate and share information. Below are videos that can be used alone or as part of a SunSense lesson plan.

    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.

    Screen Me 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 the video

  • Practice SunSense

    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.

    Use your SunSense to protect yourself from harmful UV rays by practicing the 5 S's:


    Wear loose clothes to cover your arms and legs


    A wide brim protects your ears, neck and face.


    SPF 30 or higher to protect your skin.


    Seek shade or create your own where it is not available.


    Protect your eyes.

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