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Stay SunSmart, even through a cooler summer

Stay SunSmart, even through a cooler summer

16 December 2009

People are being warned not to let their guard down when it comes to sun protection – even in the face of cooler temperatures.

The latest figures from the National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA) show Wellington had a usual amount of sunshine hours in November, but NIWA is predicting cooler than average temperatures in many parts of New Zealand for the coming summer season. 

Wayde Beckman of SunSmart says it’s not the sun’s heat that burns but ultraviolet radiation. So you can still get sunburnt on a cooler day.

“In fact your risk of sunburn can be even higher because on a mild day it’s easy to forget about sun protection and stay outside for hours.”

He’s urging Wellington parents to make sure their children don't get sunburnt over the summer break.

In 2005, the most recent year for which information is available, 102 new cases of melanoma were reported in the Capital and Coast DHB area.

Raewyn Sutton of the Wellington Cancer Society says research shows one or more episodes of sunburn in childhood and adolescence increases the risk of melanoma in later life.

“Parents need to make sure their kids are safe in the sun by following the slip, slop, slap and wrap rules.

“It is important to use sunscreen on exposed skin, but don't rely on sunscreen alone. Wear sun protective clothing (shirts with collars and long sleeves), a broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses. If you are going to be outdoors during the middle of the day, stay in the shade whenever possible.

“If you’re going to be outdoors in peak UVR times, between 11am & 4pm, stay in the shade whenever possible.

“Just taking a few simple precautions in the summer months can protect your kids from skin cancer later in life.”


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