SCHOOLIES are being urged to Slip, Slop, and Slap each other, to prevent sunburn and skin cancer death.
According to Cancer Council Queensland, young Queenslanders aged 18-24 have the highest rates of sunburn in the State, and only 37 per cent practice three out of five recommended sun protective behaviours each summer.
New figures show almost 65 per cent of Queenslanders aged 16-17 and 72 per cent aged 18-24 were sunburnt in the past year.
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Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said a slack attitude toward sun safety could greatly increase the risk of deadly skin cancers.
“Sunburn simply isn’t cool. The statistics are alarming and we Queenslanders can do better – we have the highest rates of skin cancer in the world,” Ms Clift said.
“The effects of inadequate sun protection can be ugly – not only are you increasing your risk of skin cancer, but also premature aging.
“Take the time to remind your friends and yourself to Slip on protective clothing, Slop on SPF 30 or above broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen, Slap on a broad-brimmed hat, Seek shade and Slide on wrap-around sunnies.
“Sunburn can occur in as little as 15 minutes and sun exposure can easily add up throughout the day.”
Every day, around 370 Queenslanders are told they have skin cancer. About 133,000 non-melanoma skin cancers and 3000 melanomas are diagnosed across the state each year.
With summer on the way, Cancer Council is also reminding young people about the importance of skin checks and getting to know their own skin.
“If Queenslanders notice a new spot or lesion, or an existing spot or lesion change in shape, colour or size, they should visit their GP immediately,” Ms Clift said.
“It’s important to get to know your own skin, and get in the habit of conducting regular skin checks.”
Sun protection is required when the UV Index is 3 and above. In Queensland, the UV Index is 3 and above all year round, so Cancer Council Queensland encourages sun protection through every season.