The Australian summer is like one big party where people long to soak up the sun in the great outdoors as the days grow longer. But if you spend a lot of time in the sun without adequate protection, you may develop heat exhaustion, dehydration and increase your risk of developing skin cancer. In fact, Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. At least two in three Australians will be diagnosed with a skin cancer by the age of 70.
On an average Australian summer's day, sunburn can occur in as little as 15 minutes. The sun gives out UV radiation that is magnified by light clouds, is scattered throughout the air and then reflected by surfaces such as buildings, concrete, sand and snow - all onto unsuspecting people.
Whether you are heading out to the beach, the bush or just hanging out with friends with the backyard, follow these 5 ‘sun safe’ steps to make sure you are prepared and protected.
1. Wear sunscreen
Remember to apply sunscreen to protect your skin 20mins before sun exposure and throughout the day. Re-apply every two hours or more often if you are swimming or perspiring.
2. Wear hat
Wear a broad-brimmed hat that covers your face, neck and ears.
3. Wear sunglasses
Protect your eyes from harmful UV rays from the sun and from reflection from water and sand.
4. Find shade
Whenever possible, move to the shade or bring an umbrella or portable shade structure.
5. Cover up
Choose clothing that provides a good level of skin coverage. Any exposed skin you can protect by applying sunscreen or by wearing a hat and using shaded outdoor areas.