As the weather warms up and Canberrans take to the great outdoors, Cancer Council ACT is urging people to be vigilant about sun protection.
Cancer Council ACT CEO Sandra Turner says the message is simple: slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen, slap on a hat, seek shade and slide on some sunglasses.
According to Cancer Council ACT, June and July are the only months where it is safe to be outside without sun protection in the ACT, and ultraviolet (UV) levels have been at three and above since early August.
“When UV levels reach three and above, a combination of sun protection behaviour is required to protect against skin damage that can contribute to skin cancer later in life. The higher the UV level, the quicker unprotected skin can damage – sunburn or no sunburn,” Ms Turner said.
She said it’s up to the adult population – from teenagers and beyond – to set an example for younger people about the importance of sun protection.
“All primary schools and early childhood learning centres went back to ‘no hat, play in the shade’ at the beginning of August. It’s up to all adolescents and adults to follow the same behaviours to protect their skin from short and long-term damage and to set the example for our younger community.”
“Unfortunately, it’s the younger community that are often setting the example for the adults when it comes to good sun behaviour. We’d like to see all the ACT community being SunSmart,” Ms Turner said.
“For added peace of mind, people can download the free SunSmart App to check UV levels at any time throughout the day.”
The app is available via the iTunes App Store and the Google Play store.
Each year, more than 12,000 Australians are diagnosed with melanoma, while around 2,200 will die from skin cancer every year.