Cancer experts are urging people to be sun smart this summer and avoid skin damage while enjoying the sun this summer.
This weekend is expected to reach temperatures above 39 degrees in parts of the Southern Tablelands, and experts have warned the community to stay out of the sun where possible.
South Western Sydney Local Health District Cancer Services Director, Professor Geoff Delaney, said there were very simple measures people could take to protect themselves in the sun.
“The slip, slop, slap message has endured for so long because it is such a simple way to protect yourself from skin cancer and premature aging,” he said.
“Australians love to get out and enjoy the sun in summer, but we all need to remember that all it takes is just a few minutes of sun exposure for skin damage to begin.
Dr Delaney said a few simple measures could protect skin from sun damage and future cancer:
• Slip on clothing that covers as much skin as possible, including shirts with collars
• Slop on SPF30+ or higher sunscreen generously at least 20 minutes before heading outside
• Slap on a broad-brimmed hat that protects the face, ears and neck
• Seek shade wherever possible, especially during the hottest part of the day, between 11am and 3pm
• Slide on sunglasses that wrap around the face and meet Australia sun safety standards
He said people of all ages, including babies, should take sun safe measures, including wearing sunscreen, when they go outside.
“If you are swimming, it is wise to reapply sunscreen every two hours to ensure your sun protection doesn’t reduce during the day,” he said.
“Extreme sunburn is linked to melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer which affects about 500 south west Sydney residents every year.
“We always encourage people to get out in the sun to increase their vitamin D levels, which help to maintain a health immune system, bones and teeth, but a small amount of sunlight can go a long way.”