Home' The Wellingtonian : November 10th 2011 Contents 18 THE WELLINGTONIAN, NOVEMBER 10, 2011
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By EMMA BEER
Primary school pupils may be encouraged to
be sun smart, but secondary school students
are left to be responsible for themselves.
While there is a Cancer Society SunSmart
accreditation programme for primary schools,
there is no equivalent for secondary schools.
Onslow College principal Peter Leggat said
there were really two answers to whether
such a system would work at secondary
Philosophically we should be [having some
sort of programme] because we are really
aware of the dangers of sun, particularly in
our country. It's such a critical thing, with
But, from the practical point of view, we
have an overcrowded curriculum already, so
where would that fit in, and how would that
The SunSmart Schools adviser, Louise
Sandford, said the evidence of what worked
in secondary schools was not very clear.
The secondary school setting provides
more of a challenge [than primary schools] as
the infra-structure of these schools is differ-
ent, as well as the adolescent audience
having different drivers and influencing
behaviours,'' she said.
Mr Leggat said he did not think most
secondary schools had sun smart policies in
place. Primary schools could insist on some
degree of compulsion but secondary schools
Students don't like being told what to do,
or wearing a sunhat is not that cool.
We try to encourage them to take their
own responsibility,'' he said.
Tess O'Brien, 16, said she didn't think
enforcing students to wear a sunhat would
work at college. If it became a rule, girls
would not be okay with that. They'd be like
that's not going to go with my outfit'.''
Daniel Yska, 16, said he thought primary
school children were not always fully
informed. You're just told to wear a hat.
They aren't given a graphic presentation
about skin cancer and moles and that sort of
One of the only days that allowed for a big
push on sun smart behaviour was school
sports athletics day, Mr Leggat said.
That's a day we really encourage the slip,
slop, slap. It's good that fashion means caps
are quite popular but caps don't actually give
What you see, and the
By EMMA BEER
Getting teenagers to be more
sun smart may be as simple
as showing them the harsh
The Health Sponsorship
Council, which promotes
healthy lifestyles, has a new
campaign under way to target
adolescents and promote sun-
Its 2011-2014 sun safety
programme focuses on young
people aged 13 to 17.
Sun safety programme
manager Laurianne Reins-
borough said research showed
that getting burnt, especially
under the age of 20, could lead
to melanoma later in life.
The new youth campaign, to
be launched in 2012, was
designed to focus on what was
important to teenagers:
Based on research [from
Wollongong], people of this
age group are not motivated
to change their sun safety
behaviours based on poten-
tially getting skin cancer later
But they are motivated by
the more indirect outcomes
caused by the sun, such as
wrinkles and ageing.''
Using an idea similar to a
campaign run in Australia,
the campaign will include an
ultraviolet camera that shows
damage that you can't
normally see, caused by the
When shown images from
the Australian campaign, six
Onslow College students
responded with awkward
laughter, shock, and a few
sounds of disgust.
Ruby Bosch-Thaisen, 15,
said the campaign would
make females look twice.
Girls are really conscious
about the waythey look.
If they knew that's what
they looked like, they would
probably use sunscreen
because they don't want to
end up looking like that on
The students said that
although it made them cringe
now, they were not sure it
would have a lasting effect.
Most said it
they would put
cause of the
Out of the six
one said he used
sunscreen on a daily basis.
Vanessa Larsen, 16, said
she did not always put on
sunscreen, despite being
aware of the risks.
Maybe when it gets really
sunny. I don't really think
about it when the sun's not
out, particularly with Wel-
lington weather being so
She said if a similar cam-
paign was run here, the story
of a person behind the cam-
paign would make it more
Cancer Society health pro-
motion manager Jan Pearson
said trying to crack the psyche
of an adolescent was a
Students still want to get a
tan. We tried [pushing the
message] natural is good, that
your skin colour is perfect as
We haven't cracked
[adolescents] yet; we are still
working on it.''
Daniel Yska, 16, agreed
that one of the main reasons
he thought teenagers were not
always sun-smart was
because they wanted to be
We all want to be tan.
You can't get a tan without
There's no other way
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