What does the future hold for tomorrow’s generation?

Is it hovercars and space travel? Robots and machines to take care of the running of every facet of their lives? Maybe it is, who can say? However, regardless of the technological changes that may lie ahead of them, it is our responsibility to prepare them for their future as best we can. This covers every aspect of their lives: education, social as well as ensuring their physical wellbeing and care.

During the developing years of a child’s life, forward planning is rare.  Most children living for the now, with little or no concept of the future. The concept that events or actions which occur today could affect their lives twenty years later is simply unfathomable. In particular, the matter of overexposure to the sun and UV radiation.

Awareness of the danger that such overexposure poses has risen in the last few years. However, it is still our responsibility to future generations to do the long term thinking for them in this matter until they are able to do so for themselves. This is particularly important for schools. We know that the more children are exposed to UV radiation, the greater the risk is that they will develop skin cancer later in life. Sun exposure, especially during the first 15 years of life, has a significant contribution towards a lifetime risk of developing skin cancer. Skin can burn in as little as 15 minutes in the summer sun. This means children are particularly at risk of developing sunburn during interval and lunch breaks.

The school makes up a large percentage of a child’s life, with children spending up to 7 hours a day there. Therefore Teachers and educators bear a large share of the responsibility to make sure children are kept as safe and healthy as possible. This gives them the chance that they so deserve at the best life possible.  We know we should teach them about the benefits of exercise and healthy eating.  Perhaps more importantly, we should be investing in shade structures, sunhats, and the time it takes to educate a child to be sun-smart.

That’s the best hope that our kids have for a healthy and cancer-free future. Unless someone discovers a cure for cancer sometime soon. That chance is not one we should be willing to take.

Have YOU ensured that your students will be kept shaded and safe this summer?

Call Shade Systems on 0800 166 722 today to discuss what shade options would be best suited for your school and pupils.

As featured in Education Aotearoa, Spring edition 2014