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  • Let UV levels be your guide

    05 September 2012

    With the UV Index now climbing to 3 and above, the time has come to Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide, but new Cancer Council research shows that less than 10% of South Australians check the UV as a guide for deciding when they should cover up.

    New statistics gathered by Cancer Council SA have shown that more than one quarter of the community (26%) still use temperature as their main guide to decide on whether they need to cover up – while only 8% use UV levels.

    “This is concerning because it is harmful UV rays that cause skin damage and skin cancer, not temperature,” says Professor Brenda Wilson, Chief Executive Cancer Council SA.

    “The UV Index provides a daily report on how damaging the sun will be, and at what times skin protection is needed. It aims to help you plan your day around the sun’s activity and proactively protect yourself from harmful UV.

    “In recent weeks Adelaide’s UV levels have been climbing above 3 which signals that we should all now be proactively protecting ourselves from the sun in five different ways:

    • Slip on some sun protective clothing
    • Slop on SPF 30+ broad spectrum sunscreen
    • Slap on a shady hat, that protects the face, ears and neck
    • Seek shade whenever possible
    • Slide on some wraparound sunglasses

    “We have a very useful ‘SunSmart’ UV iPhone App that is available free from iTunes and for other Smartphones you can download the App from http://www.sunsmart.com.au/resources/sunsmart-app . We recommend people download it now and use it daily so that they can protect themselves as UV levels continue to increase over the months ahead.”

    “The SunSmart UV widget for websites is also available here

    The Cancer Council survey also found that of those South Australians who have accessed UV level information, the majority sourced this information from television weather segments.

    “We would like to work more closely with our local radio, television stations and weather presenters to make sure that UV information is communicated consistently and regularly throughout the coming months,” says Professor Wilson.

    SunSmart Coordinator, Joanne Rayner says this is also the time of year for schools to begin actioning their SunSmart policies which means it’s ‘hats on’ for kids from now until May next year.

    “Instilling SunSmart practices early in a child’s life will go a long way to reducing their likelihood of developing skin cancer later in life.

    “Schools play a big part in this, so from today they should be encouraging ‘hats on’ and full skin protection when kids are not in the classroom,” says Ms Rayner.

    The SunSmart UV Alert also appears on the weather page of The Advertiser as well as some regional newspapers and television weather segments. It is also available from the Bureau of Meteorology.

    For more information on SunSmart Schools click here.

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