Gold Coasters don’t take sunburn seriously, says Cancer Council

New data shows nearly 54 per cent of adults in Gold Coast get sunburnt at least once a year, increasing their risk of potentially deadly skin cancer.

The latest Preventive Health Survey* shows 53.3 per cent of Gold Coast locals aged over 18 were sunburned in 2013-14, compared to a state average of around 54 per cent.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said sunburn was a sign of skin damage, which increased the risk of skin cancer.


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“We’re concerned that the majority of adults in Gold Coast aren’t taking sun safety seriously, putting their health at risk,” Ms Clift said. “Staying SunSmart is crucial for personal health, and it’s vital for adults to be good role models for friends, family and children.

“We urge locals to 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 when the UV Index is three or above to best reduce the risk of skin cancer.

“It’s easy to stay up-to-date with real-time UV Index levels on the Cancer Council SunSmart app. Along with a seven day weather forecast, the app has a sunscreen calculator function – to help Queenslanders know how much sunscreen they should use for maximum coverage. A sun protection alert with daily reminders can be set up for app users too.”

Cancer Council is urgently warning Gold Coast residents about the dangers of sunburn, even in cooler months.

“The risk of sunburn is still high, even as we head into winter in Queensland,” Ms Clift said. “Even in winter in Gold Coast, the UV Index is three and above, so sun protection is required when outdoors.”

More than 3600 Queenslanders are diagnosed with melanoma each year, and it is estimated that over 350,000 non-melanoma skin cancers are treated. Gold Coast locals can download the SunSmart app for free at sunsmart.com.au.