‘Heat-Smart’ schools during physical education (PE) activities: Developing a policy to protect students from extreme heat

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Abstract

National and state surveys of school sun protection policies and practices demonstrate that being a member of a SunSmart Program improves sun protection practices in primary schools, often lead by Health and Physical Education (HPE) teachers. Australia’s major Sunsmart program implemented in primary schools has largely focused on limiting children’s exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) to reduce the risk of developing skin cancer later in life. Yet another major hazard during outdoor physical education activities is the impact of extreme heat on school students. With physical education (PE) often occurring in hot environments and involving higher intensities (and heart rates), exposure to heat influences are raised. This research reports on a social-ecological model (SEM) review and text mining analysis of key heat protection policies and practices for the development of a five stage Heat Smart action plan in schools. The five stage action plan of Heat Smart strategies can be used to counteract extreme heat exposure during PE and ensure school students continue to meet key national physical activity and curricular objectives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-72
Number of pages16
JournalLearning Communities: International Journal of Learning in Social contexts
Volume21
Issue numberSpecial
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017

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