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No Lunch at Noon Please!

June 29, 2011

Many of us don’t think about it, but school recess is normally at mid-day – right when the sun is the highest.  Recently there has been a movement to encourage schools to make recess earlier, but the question of lunchtime still remains.

Depending on the size of your school most recess and lunch times are determined by grade, starting with the youngest and ending with the oldest.  This means that at some point your child will have recess and lunch in the mid-day and will be exposed to some of the highest UV rays even in the wintertime.  The school has a hard time balancing the ages with recess periods, which means other precautions need to be taken.

First if you have a child or are concerned about this mid-day recess you need to talk to your school and other parents.  Try and start a group or committee that will take up this cause.  When the school feels pressured they must act.  Within this group start brainstorming ideas that please you, the children, and the school.  The obvious answer to not have recess or lunch at midday but this seems unlikely especially in large schools.

One option that may help is to have the school have a “no hat no play” policy.  This way kids have to wear a hat, and if they don’t they can’t play outside.  The problem is the hat still only limits the sunlight hitting the face.  The best policy would be to enforce the use of sunscreen.  If you belong to a small school then this could be enforced rather easily.  If you belong to a larger school, again this may be harder to make possible.

Another option would be to put up a shaded area in the yard where kids could play.  This would limit the sun and not be too expensive.  One could take a quick survey of the area most played in in the yard and then cover it using a tall tarp tent.

Some schools may say that they feel it is the parent’s responsibility to cover up their kids.  If this is a case talk to your child’s teacher about making him wear a hat and sunscreen. If necessary dress you’re child in sun protective clothing so that less sunscreen is necessary.

This is a very important movement because getting sun burnt as a child is the number one cause of skin cancer later in life.  If your school has a policy already please let others know what it is and if it is working to try to help this movement.

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