School level

Be Sun Smart and Protect Your Skin

The HSE’s NCCP in collaboration with Healthy Ireland have launched the Get SunSmart! Children’s Art Competition for its third year.

 The competition is open to all pre-school and primary school children and depending on their age category, to complete the SunSmart colouring sheets or draw their own picture showing how to be SunSmart.

There are four age categories with a prize for the winner in each category. The three age categories are:

·       Pre-schools

·       Junior Infants to First Class,

·       Second Class to Fourth Class

·       Fifth and Sixth Class 

The competition is designed to help educate young people about the importance of protecting your skin while enjoying time outdoors. We want children to be creative and learn how to enjoy the sun safely.  Children and young people are particularly vulnerable to the damaging effects of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.

The competition runs until 17.00 on 31 May, 2024. 

For details of the competition rules as well as instructions on how to enter, see the competition webpage at

Know the UV Index

The UV index tells us what level of UV radiation is reaching the earth's surface. It ranges from zero to 11+. The higher the UV index, the greater the risk of skin and eye damage and the less time it takes for harm to occur.

In Ireland, the UV index is usually 3 or above from April to September, even when it is cloudy. Stay safe by limiting time in the sun when UV is strongest, typically between the hours of 11am to 3pm.

Classroom Activities:

UV and Human Health

Getting too much sun can be harmful whatever your age. It exposes your skin to ultra violet radiation (UV rays) that can damage your skin and lead to skin cancer. With good protection against UV rays, most cases of skin cancer could be avoided.

This doesn’t mean you have to avoid the sun completely. Sun exposure is the best natural source of vitamin D and is important for general health. You can still go for walks, enjoy the garden and get involved in all of the things you enjoy doing outdoors. Just make sure to think about how you will protect your skin when outside.
Source: Irish Cancer Society

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