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Sun safety

SAVES LIVES By Tom Sharman and Justin Sayson

How often have you gone for a roll up without any form of sun protection? Skin damage can occur in less than 15 minutes. While we all need that fix of Vitamin D, there are steps we take to make time on the green safer.

“You cannot see or feel UV, so you shouldn’t rely on the intensity of sunshine or the heat you feel on your skin to guide sun protection,” Cancer Council South Australia CEO, Lincloln Size said.

The Bureau of Meteorology provides a daily UV Index, which is a simple measure of the UV radiation level, the scale starts at zero, and as it increases so does the chance of skin or eye damage occurring.

“Two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer before the age of 70,” he said.

The Cancer Council says the average person will have a moderate chance of skin damage when the UV index is above three. Australia consistently sits at a four or five, regardless of the time of the year. Both New South Wales and South Australia register at seven, which is high on the index scale over the year. In December, the average level during peak times for the majority of New South Wales and South Australia sits at an UV index of 11, which BOM describes as extreme levels of exposure. During this time it’s common to see people out on the greens for hours without any form of sun protection. This repeated and prolonged exposure increases your risk of skin cancers regardless of whether you were burnt or not.

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“The disease claims over 2,000 Australian lives every year, yet it is largely preventable. Cancer Council Australia recommends the use of the following five sun protection measures: • Slip on protective clothing. • Slop on a minimum SPF30+ broad spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen. • Slap on a broad-brimmed hat. • Seek shade where possible. • Slide on sunglasses. Statistically the core demographic of this magazine (people aged 55+) are most at risk due to the cumulative exposure to UV radiation.

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