Cancer Council Queensland issues heatwave warning

Cancer Resources

Cancer Council Queensland is urging all Queenslanders to stay safe and SunSmart today, with temperatures expected to top around 40 degrees in some parts of the State.

The heatwave is hitting Queensland unseasonably early this year, with the UV Index also expected to reach extreme levels.

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Ms Chris McMillan warned of the dangers of scorching temperatures and high UV levels, urging Queenslanders to use sun protective measures when out and about.

“Where possible, people should avoid sun exposure – especially during periods of extreme heat and high UV levels, at the peak of the day,” Ms McMillan said.

“With temperatures set to reach 40 degrees and a UV Index level of 10 today, it’s imperative to take precautions.

“We recommend Queenslanders 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 when out and about.

“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 hot weather, to reduce our skin cancer risk.

“Sun protection is required when the UV Index is 3 and above, which in Queensland is all year round.

“Skin damage can occur in as little as 10-15 minutes if you’re outdoors without protection.”

Cancer Council Queensland also encouraged parents to take care of children in the soaring temperatures, while school holidays are on.

“Keep yourself and your family cool – stay in air-conditioning, drink as much water as possible and schedule outdoor activities later in the day,” Ms McMillan said.

“Be aware of heat-related illness and heat stroke – warning signs may include muscle cramps and weakness, dizziness and a headache, nausea or fainting.

“Mild to moderate dehydration can also be an issue. We encourage all Queenslanders to look out for the health of friends and family around them during this time.”

Queensland has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world. Around 3650 melanoma and 324,000 non-melanoma skin cancers are diagnosed across the state each year.

More information about Cancer Council Queensland and staying SunSmart is available at or 13 11 20.


For more information or interviews, please contact:

Laura McKoy,
Media Manager,
Cancer Council Queensland
Phone: (07) 3634 5345
Mobile: 0409 001 171