HERE COMES THE SUN
With the temperature heating up, the excitement for the beach, holidays and the great outdoors gets real. Living in New Zealand presents a high risk of being exposed to UV radiations and it’s more important than ever to ensure you stay protected. No matter what your age or complexion, there is always the risk of future issues from early aging, to signs of melanoma.
“Skin cancer is alarmingly common and yet it is largely preventable. Both New Zealand and Australia have the highest rates of skin cancer in the world,” says Fiona Mawley, General Manager at Daffodil Enterprises Ltd. As serious as it is, don’t let this hinder your enjoyment of the upcoming summer - being sun smart is easy, and we are here to help.
Below are some essential (but easy) tips to being sun smart:
Sunscreen - Apply a generous quantity of sunscreen that has a minimum of SPF 30+ and be sure to consistently reapply every two hours. Make sure it is water resistant (but still reapply after a swim or excessive sweating).
Put on the wide-brimmed hat - If you’re outside, make sure you are wearing a hat that covers both your face, ears and neck for full protection.
Don’t forget the sunnies – Sunglasses are just as important as the hat and sunscreen. Too much sun exposure to the eyes has both short term and long term effects that can easily be prevented. Make sure your sunglasses have protection against UV radiation, as without this you may as well not wear any.
Keep shaded - If you’re spending the day in the sun, bring an umbrella or find a shaded area. But remember, although you may be in the shade, UV rays can reflect without you even realising so ensure sunscreen is always applied.
Avoid peak sun time - Try to stay out of the direct sun between 10am and 4 pm. Although this may be the desired time to head to the beach and tan, these hours are when the sun is at its strongest.
The protection of clothing - Wear t-shirts and clothing that can work as that extra bit of protection (but still, the rays can make their way right through those layers).
If the sun isn’t out, this doesn’t mean you’re safe – Just because it’s cloudy doesn’t mean you are protected. Always wear sunscreen if you’re out and about as the UV radiations can creep their way through.
‘But I don’t burn’ – Some believe that because they can never physically see the damages, it means that they do not need to protect themselves. Make sure to stay sunsmart or you could be in for a future surprise.
Stay hydrated – often we take for granted the need for good hydration in order to stay alert and well. Make sure you always carry enough water for you and your kids when you are out and about in a hot summer day. Even in the shadow your body will still lose fluids. Never ignore your thirst.
Don’t forget to encourage the kids! - Cancer society is all about sunsmart safety with kids to ensure they grow up and continue looking after their skin. Encourage your child’s school to become SunSmart accredited and they can get a share of the 100,000 tubes of sunscreen in the future! Here are some tips on sun protection for babies and toddlers.
Just remember sunscreen, hats, glasses, clothing, shading and hydration!