Canberrans love a public holiday, a day off work, a time to catch up with family and friends, a trip down to the coast or just an opportunity to do some work around the home and garden!
This Australia Day long weekend (for many) Cancer Council ACT urges Canberrans of all ages to think twice about how they spend their time outdoors!
Recent Cancer Council research shows that Aussies are being caught out by their incidental UV exposure- half of summer weekend sunburns are a result of Australians going about their day-to-day activities.
David Wild from Cancer Council ACT explains that whilst just 8% of Canberra adults reported had attempted a tan over summer (amongst the lowest in the nation) yet over 60% of Canberra adults reported still having tanned skin!
So what is going on? Mr Wild explains that Canberrans appear to be spending longer periods outdoors during the peak UV period of the day over the weekend with inadequate protection against solar UV. Only 1 in 4 adults reported adopting 3 or more sun protection behaviours when outdoors for 15 minutes or more during the peak UV period of the day.
Mr Wild said that this is very frustrating because the general public is aware of the potential damage associated with too much sun on the skin and yet only 1 in 4 Canberra adults reported wearing a wide-brimmed hat when outdoors on a typical summer weekend- and just 16% wore a ¾ or longer sleeve shirt!
Over 760,000 non-melanoma skin cancers are treated across Australia each year, making skin cancer our most common cancer- they are a huge burden on the health system and yet they are almost totally preventable by being SunSmart!
This Australia Day stop and remember UV levels in Canberra will be EXTREME and a combination of 5 sun protection behaviours will be required all day if spending time outdoors, no matter what you are doing!
Slip on sensible clothing, Slop on sunscreen, Slap on a hat, Seek Shade and Slide on some sunnies.
Media Contact: David Wild –SunSmart Services Coordinator, Cancer Council ACT. P 6257 9999
REF: Cancer Council National Sun Survey – 3 October 2014
Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer in Australia – Fransen et al 2012