Not-for-profit organisations catering for children 0-17 years are invited to apply for up to 50 per cent matched funding to purchase a portable or permanent shade structure.
Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift urged eligible schools, sporting clubs, childcare centres and community groups to apply.
“The Queensland Government has announced $870,000 of funding over three years to support the SunSmart Shade Creation Initiative to improve the sun safety of our kids,” Ms Clift said.
“This is welcome news for our State – providing everyday shade for children in Queensland is vital. Sun exposure in childhood influences the risk of skin cancer later in life.”
Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick said the funding would support eligible organisations to adopt sun safe policies and practices.
“This means more childcare facilities, schools and junior sporting organisations will be able to purchase fixed or portable shade structures, reducing childhood exposure to ultraviolent radiation,” he said.
“It’s vital that we do what we can to protect our next generation from the damaging effects of too much sun to help prevent them from developing health issues in the future, and this funding will go some way towards that cause.”
Ms Clift said it was important all Queensland organisations caring for children have access to items that assist SunSmart behavior and reduce skin cancer risk.
“We also need to work hard to instill SunSmart behaviours in Queensland children to reduce their long-term risk,” she said.
“These grants will be a big boost to eligible organisations who have limited funds for sun safety.”
Figures show more than half of Queensland children (aged five to 17) are sunburnt every year, with five per cent sunburnt to the point of blistering.
Cancer Council Queensland recommends all Queenslanders follow the five recommended sun protective behaviours when the UV Index level is three or above.
“Slip on protective clothing, Slop on minimum SPF30 broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen, Slap on a broad-brimmed hat, Seek shade and Slide on wrap-around sunnies when out and about this summer to best reduce your risk of skin cancer,” Ms Clift said.
Applications for the 2016 SunSmart Shade Creation Initiative close at 5pm on 18 March. To apply, eligible organisations can complete the online application form at cancerqld.org.au.
More information about Cancer Council Queensland, and staying SunSmart, is available via 13 11 20 or cancerqld.org.au.