Young Queenslanders scalding in the weekend sun

Cancer Council is calling on young Queenslanders to Slip, Slop, Slap themselves, with new research showing 17 per cent of 18 to 24 year olds get sunburned on weekends.

The new stats* reveal 20 per cent of males aged 18 to 24 experience sunburn on summer weekends, compared to 14 per cent of females aged 18 to 24.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said sunburn was a sign that skin had been significantly damaged.

“In Queensland, even on cooler and cloudier winter days when temperatures are lower, sunburn can still occur in as little as 15 minutes,” Ms Clift said.

“Young Queenslanders need to be more vigilant about staying SunSmart whenever they spend time outdoors – at the beach, the footy, by the pool and at backyard BBQs around this time of year.

“We often think about applying sunscreen or packing our broad-brimmed hat in hotter summer weather – but the need to protect yourself from the sun is just as great in cooler months.

“Queenslanders also need to be aware that sun exposure adds up during the day – so even if you’re out in the sun a few times, for short periods of time, it can still damage skin and cause sunburn.

“We’re urging young Queenslanders to Slip, Slop and Slap themselves and their friends into reality – sunburn puts you at increased risk of skin cancer and also causes premature ageing of the skin.”

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.

“Whatever you’re up to on the weekend, if you’re enjoying the great outdoors remember to apply sunscreen, wear your sunnies and encourage your friends and family to do the same,” Ms Clift said.

“We urge all young Queenslanders to follow five steps to being SunSmart on weekends: 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.

“Get serious about reducing your risk of skin cancer.”

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

If you’re heading outside today, check out or download Cancer Council’s free SunSmart app for information on the UV Index.

More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available via 13 11 20 or

For more information or interviews, please contact:

Katie Clift, Executive Manager, Media and Spokesperson, Cancer Council Queensland

Ph: (07) 3634 5372 or 0409 001 171

*2013-14 National Sun Protection Survey, Cancer Council, 2014.