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  • South Australians urged to think UV not heat

    11 September 2015

    With the beginning of spring, South Australians are being urged to be more aware of UV levels and to protect their skin at the times when UV will damage unprotected skin.

    A new TV campaign and website is being launched in South Australia by Cancer Council SA to promote the importance of checking sun protection times each day over the coming months.

    Results from the 2014 Health Omnibus Survey indicate that more than half of South Australian adults rely on temperature, cloud cover, time of day or shade to determine whether they protect their skin from the sun. 

    Of greatest concern is that less than 1 in 10 people use UV levels to guide their sun protection. From the same survey, 1 in 3 South Australians reported getting 1 or more sunburns last summer.

    Cancer Council SA Chief Executive, Lincoln Size, said that this campaign was about raising awareness around UV levels and reducing the risk of developing skin cancer.

    “Our research indicates that people rely on factors such as the temperature and cloud cover when determining whether they protect their skin from the sun and this is putting them at great risk,” Mr Size said.

    “It is the sun’s UV that causes the damage to our skin, not the temperature, so people need to get in the habit of checking the SunSmart UV Alert sun protection times daily as they plan their activities.

    “When UV levels are three and above, they are at skin damaging levels and measures should be put in place to protect the skin. We are already seeing UV above 3 on a daily basis and people will undoubtedly be getting caught out due to the cooler weather.”

    The research indicated that approximately 80% of South Australians have seen or heard information about UV, but only 9% use UV levels to determine when to protect their skin.

    “This new campaign is designed to increase people’s awareness of UV and sun protection, from adults through to teenagers,” Mr Size added.

    “We know that 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.

    “Two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime and adolescence is traditionally a period when Australians put themselves at risk.”

    Also of concern from the survey is that just 15% of South Australians regularly protect their skin (Slip, Slop, Slap) when outdoors.

    The campaign will go to air from this Sunday 13 September.

    Watch the ad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FT9NgpSajFU or visit the website: http://www.myuv.com.au/

    SunSmart’s free App can be downloaded from Cancer Council SA.

    For more information about SunSmart principles visit cancersa.org.au or email sunsmart@cancersa.org.au

    To minimise sun damage, protect your skin in 5 ways when the UV Alert is three or above:
    • Slip on some sun protective clothing
    • Slop on SPF 30, or higher, broad spectrum sunscreen
    • Slap on a shady hat, that protects the face, ears and neck
    • Seek shade whenever possible
    • Slide on some wraparound sunglasses

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