Cancer Council Queensland has issued a warning to visitors descending on the Sunshine State for the Commonwealth Games to be vigilant of Queensland’s harsh UV levels.
Melanoma rates are around 40 per cent higher in Queensland compared to the national average , as a result of the UV Index causing skin damage all year round if sun protective measures are not taken.
Cancer Council Queensland CEO Chris McMillan urged visitors to download a free SunSmart app for live updates on UV levels to determine when sun protection is needed.
“Sun protection is needed when the UV Index is 3 and above, which can be from early in the morning until late afternoon,” Ms McMillan said.
“Do not use temperature as a guide when deciding what sun protection to use, as the UV Index can still be extreme in low temperatures.
“We recommend all five sun protective measures are taken – Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide – when outdoors watching the Games, visiting the beach or exploring surrounding areas.
“Sunburn is a serious sign of skin damage, which increases the risk of skin cancer – and should be avoided at all costs.
“Once skin damage occurs from UV radiation, it is impossible to reverse, but it is never too late to make improvements to your sun protection behaviours.”
Cancer Council Queensland further warned that the symptoms of sunburn can sometimes be so severe that medical attention is needed.
“First degree sunburn is known as mild sunburn that reddens and inflames the skin – second degree sunburn is a more serious reddening of the skin and water blisters,” Ms McMillan said.
“Third degree sunburn requires medical attention. You should see a doctor if you experience blistering, headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness or severe pain.”
Slip on protective clothing, slop on SPF 30+ broad spectrum sunscreen, slap on a broad-brimmed hat, seek shade and slide on sunglasses when outdoors.
The SunSmart app was developed by Cancer Council Victoria, with support from VicHealth, ARPANSA and the Bureau of Meteorology. The app is free for smartphones and tablets, and can be found by searching ‘SunSmart’ in the app store. Sun protection times and UV levels are also available at sunsmart.com.au.
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