Nature Play QLD, My Sun Safety Partnership
Visit the Nature Play QLD My Sun Safety page for sun protection information, tips and missions.
Media Release: For December 1, 2016
QUEENSLAND KIDS HELPED BACK OUTSIDE THANKS TO NEW PARTNERSHIP
It’s a childhood trend that has experts alarmed. Queensland children are spending less and less time playing outdoors and more time inside on screens, behaviour which has been linked to a rise in childhood health and wellbeing issues such as obesity and attention deficit disorders*.
With school holidays just around the corner, Nature Play QLD, the not-for-profit organisation that creates free practical play programs proven to get Queensland kids off the couch and back playing outside, has entered into a new partnership to reduce one of the major barriers that can prevent children from playing outside over summer – the sun.
Health and wellbeing experts advise parents of young children they need at least 3 hours of physical activity every day*, and that most children reach that physical activity quota from incidental free play; but with summer officially here, the UV levels across Queensland are already extreme, with a minimum of eight hours a day across the state when sun protection is required.
Which is why Nature Play QLD have joined forces with My Sun Protection, an Australian company that manufactures and distributes a range of sun protection products; to inform and assist parents to manage their children’s sun protection and effectively remove one of the barriers to their children playing outside.
The new partnership will provide parents with information and access to products that support kids playing outside, such as child friendly sunscreen applicators, hats designed to wear over helmets and stickers that kids wear that change colour to alert you when it's time to reapply sunscreen.
Nature Play QLD Program Manager, Hyahno Moser, said the partnership with My Sun Protection would provide parents with progressive, practical and affordable solutions to address one of the major barriers that prevent Queensland children from enjoying the health and wellbeing benefits of outside play.
“We know we have to get our kids participating in more healthy outdoor play but an outdoor play environment cannot be healthy in Queensland unless there is sun protection,” Moser said.
“The aim of the Nature Play QLD and My Sun Protection Sun Safety Partnership is to incorporate a sun protection philosophy into Nature Play QLD’s programs with a view to developing good, lifelong sun safe habits while encouraging our children to participate in healthy active outdoor play.”
“Nature Play programs are critical to reducing sedentary childhood play trends and sun smart practices are critical to reversing the rate of skin cancers which is why this new partnership will provide healthier play experiences for all Queensland kids.”
Nature Play QLD was created two years ago to address community concerns around Queensland children’s rising sedentary play behaviour and excessive screen use.
Nature Play QLD’s signature “Passport to an Amazing Childhood” program, which encourages kids to swap their “screen time” for “green time” by challenging them to complete a series of age appropriate nature play “missions” and record their results in their very own Nature Play Passports, is a huge hit with Queensland kids with over 200,000 passports distributed to children across the state.
An expanding body of scientific evidence shows unstructured play in nature, dubbed “nature play”, delivers significant benefits to a child’s health, cognitive, social and emotional development, and helps children develop vital life skills such as resilience and creativity. Nature play has also been shown to build a child’s confidence, autonomy, risk management and problem solving abilities.
The Active Health Kids Australia report claims Australia is in a grip of a physical inactivity pandemic and advocates for a coordinated response across government and non-government organisations to see real improvement in physical activity levels.
Nature Play QLD / My Sun Protection Partnership
- First partnership of its kind in Australia.
- Natureplay QLD saw a need for this partnership as our children need to spend more time outdoors engaging in healthy, active, unstructured play but parents need not be afraid but rather, be prepared, for when their children are playing outside in the sun.
- Balances the need for our children to play outside but assists them, their parents and guardians, to get into good sun safety habits from an early age.
- Practical Sun Smart Education Resources for adults and children.
Skin Cancer Facts
- 2 in 3 Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70
- Over 750,000 Australians are treated for skin cancer each year
- All skin types and ages can be damaged by exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR). Damage is permanent and irreversible and increases with each exposure
- Skin cancer is largely preventable by minimising UV exposure.
Skin Cancer Facts Children
- Children's skin in 30% thinner than an adult, putting them more at risk of UV damage.
- UV exposure during the first 18 years of a person's life is a critical risk factor for skin cancer and premature aging.
- The most commonly diagnosed cancer among adolescents and young adults is melanoma; it accounts for more than a quarter of all cancers among Australians aged 15-29 years.
ABOUT NATURE PLAY:
Nature Play is a QORF Project, with a mission of making nature play a normal part of childhood again for all Queensland children. Nature Play QLD believes unstructured outdoor play, “nature play”, is fundamental to a full and healthy childhood. Nature Play QLD advocates the nature play message and increases access to nature play resources, events and programs for Queenslanders. Nature Play QLD is made possible through the support of the Queensland Department of National Parks, Sport & Racing.
For more information: www.natureplayqld.org.au
QORF is the acronym for the Queensland Outdoor Recreation Federation and is the peak body representing the interests of outdoor recreation users in Queensland. QORF was formed in 1996 as a not-for-profit association representing a coalition of outdoor recreation groups to advocate on behalf of the industry.
ABOUT MY SUN PROTECTION:
My Sun Protection is brought to you by the husband and wife team, Wade and Lisa Heggie. We are a Queensland company that manufactures, sources and distributes best-of-breed sun protection products. We have both been affected by skin cancer or melanoma and take the responsibility of sun care very seriously. Through our own endeavours, and partnerships with other organisations we aim to educate Australians on the risks associated with too much sun exposure. It is our hope that with this knowledge and innovative products everyone can enjoy the benefits of outdoor activities and their time in the sun responsibly. www.mysunprotection.com.au
MEDIA CONTACT FOR NATURE PLAY QLD:
0414 287 231
* The 2016 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Young People is available online at: www.activehealthykidsaustralia.com.au
Summary of the recommended Australian Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for children and young people: Age group recommendations
Infants (Birth to 1 year)
Physical activity should be encouraged from birth, especially supervised floor based play.
Children (0–5 years) should not be sedentary, restrained or kept inactive for more than 1 hour at a time, with the exception of sleeping.
Children (less than 2 years) should not take part in any screen time* activities.
Children (2–5 years) should be limited to less than one hour per day of screen time*.
Toddlers (1-3 years) & Pre-Schoolers (3-5 years)
Toddlers and pre-schoolers should accumulate at least 3 hours of physical activity (light, moderate or vigorous intensity) every day.
Children (5-12 years) & Young People (13-17 years)
Children and young people should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate# to vigorous^ intensity physical activity every day. A variety of aerobic activities should be undertaken, including some physical activities that are vigorous^ in intensity. Physical activities that strengthen muscles and bones should be included on at least three days per week. For additional health benefits, children and young people should engage in more physical activity (up to several hours) every day. Children (5–12 years) and young people (13–17 years) should minimise the time spent being sedentary every day and break up long periods of sitting as much as possible.
Children (5–12 years) and young people (13–17 years) should limit their screen time* to no more than 2 hours per day
*Australian children’s screen time and participation in extracurricular activities.
Maggie Yu and Jennifer Baxter - Australian Institute of Family Studies
“Time spent by children in front of screens has been found to be a significant factor in explaining differences in children’s health problems such as obesity (Caroli et al., 2004; Fairclough et al., 2009; Hancox & Poulton, 2005; Hardy, Dobbins, Denney-Wilson, Okely, & Booth, 2009; Laurson et al., 2014). Therefore, guidelines concerning limits on the amount of time children spend using screens for entertainment are important. Children are clearly spending a large amount of time on screen time activities, with a majority of children spending more than 2 hours per day on these activities. Regardless of there being questions about whether or not the recommended 2 hour limit on screen time for entertainment is realistic, it is still important that children’s screen time is managed to ensure that children do not undertake these activities to the detriment of other activities that may be essential for their wellbeing.”