Sunburn statistics a warning against complacency

As shocking statistics continue to pop up like blisters in the sun, Cancer Council Queensland is warning against sun safety complacency ahead of the Easter break.

The latest figures show that around 2.1 million Queensland adults and 394,000 kids get sunburnt every year and one in 12 Queenslanders will be diagnosed with melanoma by the age of 85.

About fifty per cent of adults in the Sunshine Coast Health and Hospital Service area were sunburnt in the previous 12 months.Around 220 Wide Bay-Burnett locals are diagnosed with melanoma each year and around 495 Sunshine Coast region locals are diagnosed with melanoma each year.

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Chris McMillan said with the weather cooling, it was important for Queenslanders to remember there is no link between temperature and ultraviolet radiation (UV).

“It is important for us to reinforce the message that it’s ultraviolet radiation that is the major cause of skin cancer – and that UV can’t be seen or felt,” Ms McMillan said.

“Whenever the UV Index is three or above, Queenslanders need to take sun safety seriously and follow our five recommended sun protective behaviours, even on cloudy or cool days.

“While long sleeves are a staple during the cooler months, it’s important people don’t forget to wear a broad-brimmed hat, slop on minimum SPF30 broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen and wear wrap-around sunglasses when they step outside. 

“It’s also imperative that we all continue to seek shade where possible too, as it’s one of the most effective ways to reduce UV exposure.”

Ms McMillan encouraged Queenslanders to download the SunSmart app, to stay up-to-date with real-time UV levels during Autumn.

“A sun protection alert with daily reminders can be set up for users and the app is free to download on tablets or smartphones,” Ms McMillan said.