UV radiation levels are already rising in Victoria so don't wait until summer to use sun protection.
Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. More than 1700 people die from skin cancer every year - that's more than the national road toll.
In Victoria, from September through to the end of April average UV levels are 3 and above, which is when UV radiation can damage skin and eyes and lead to skin cancer.
So when the UV Index is 3 and above:
- Slip on sun-protective clothing
- Slop on SPF30+, broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen - put it on 20 minutes before you go outdoors and every two hours afterwards
- Slap on a hat - that protects your face, head, neck and ears
- Seek shade
- Slide on some sunglasses - make sure they meet Australian Standards.
From September to April, just a few minutes of UV exposure to the face, arms and hands or equivalent area of skin should be enough for most people to maintain vitamin D levels. However people with naturally very dark skin may need 3 to 6 times the exposure level.
For the times of the day that sun protection is needed, check the SunSmart UV Alert in the weather section of daily newspapers or at www.sunsmart.com.au. During the day live UV levels for Melbourne can be found at www.arpansa.gov.au.
Particular care should be taken between 10am and 2pm (11am and 3pm daylight saving time) when UV Index levels reach their peak.
For more information go to www.sunsmart.com.au
Photo courtesy of Queensland Health.
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