Push to make school children wear sunglasses when playing outside

PRIMARY school students who don't have a hat or sunglasses when they go out to play will be made to stay indoors if the Cancer Council has their way.

The organisation has supported the call by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists, who have noticed a sharp increase in the number of children with UV-related eye damage.

 

"Adequate eye protection against UV radiation is vital for adults and children during outdoor activity in daylight hours," Cancer Council spokeswoman Katie Clift said.

"Damage to the eyes can occur regardless of the UV level, so we strongly recommend children wear sunglasses during daytime outdoor activity."

Ms Clift said an overarching policy response would send an important signal to educators and parents, as well as primary school kids.

"Broadening the no hat, no play policy to include sunglasses would significantly strengthen protection for children against future risk of cancer," she said.

In the latest figures available, 81 Queenslanders were diagnosed with eye cancer and 21 people died from the disease.

From 2009-2013, about 42 Queenslanders were diagnosed with melanoma of the eye each year, and about 15 people died from the disease annually.



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