THE only person wearing a coat of red this Christmas should be Santa.
Cancer Council Queensland is warning Queenslanders to avoid the Christmas sizzle next week as UV levels and temperatures heat up.
Temperatures in parts of the sunshine state are tipped to reach the high 30’s, with UV levels hitting 11 or more.
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Cancer Council Queensland CEO Ms Chris McMillan has taken the time to urge Queenslanders to give their skin the gift of sun protection this Christmas to avoid damage and reduce the risk of skin cancer.
“We know this is a time that families and friends get together to enjoy the festive season, unwrap presents, fire up the barbecue or hit the beach,” Ms McMillan said.
“However, where possible, people should avoid direct sun exposure – especially during periods of extreme heat and high UV levels, at the peak of the day.
“If you are outside, abide by all five sun protective recommendations – Slip on protective clothing, Slop on minimum SPF30 broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen, Slap on a broad-brimmed hat, Seek shade and Slide on wrap-around sunnies.
“Sunscreen or a good hat alone isn’t enough – we need to make the effort to do all we can to protect ourselves from UV radiation especially in the summer months, to reduce our skin cancer risk.
“Sun protection remains the best defense against skin cancer and is required when the UV Index is 3 and above. Skin damage can occur in as little as 10-15 minutes without protection.”
Ms McMillan said adding a sun safe spin to Christmas presents was also a good way to encourage people to Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide.
“Add a trendy hat and a pair of sunnies to a present for a loved one, or buy a rashie for your child’s stocking – it’s a great way to help friends and family stay safe over the holiday period,” Ms McMillan said.
“In addition, stay cool where possible, and drink plenty of water to remain hydrated and energised.”
Queensland has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world, with around 3700 melanoma and 343,000 non-melanoma skin cancers diagnosed across the state every year.
More information about Cancer Council Queensland and staying SunSmart is available at cancerqld.org.au or 13 11 20.