Promoting sun safety message
The balmy days of summer are coming and it’s time to get SunSmart
New Zealanders have an easyto- use tool that tells them exactly when they need to protect their skin from the sun.
The Sun Protection Alert provides simple information that is easy to act on and specific to each area for that day.
Sun safety messages such as ‘‘ seek shade’’ and ‘‘ reapply sunscreen’’ are included in the Sun Protection Alert and change regularly to reflect weather forecasts.
‘‘It is important not to underestimate the power of the sun at this time of the year and to remember that it’s not the sun’s heat that burns, but ultraviolet radiation,’’ Kath Blair, the Health Promotion Agency’s SunSmart manager said.
‘‘Ultraviolet radiation is at its highest between September and April, especially between 10am and 4pm.
‘‘It’s really important to slip, slop, slap and wrap – slip on a shirt or into the shade, slop on plenty of broad- spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30, slap on a hat, and wrap on a pair of sunglasses.
‘‘There is an increased risk of sunburn if we aren’t SunSmart. Sunburn is a big concern because it increases the risk of melanoma skin cancer later in life.
‘‘About 300 New Zealanders die from melanoma skin cancer every year.
‘‘ Skin cancer
largely preventable by taking simple measures to protect ourselves from the sun,’’ Blair said.
The Health Promotion Agency has worked with MetService and Niwa to produce a range of ways the sun protection information can be easily accessed by the public.
They include having the Sun Protection Alert on MetService’s Towns and Cities smartphone weather apps.
The alert is also available in daily newspapers and on pages throughout the Towns and Cities, Rural, Marine and Surf sections of metservice.com.
A version can also be integrated into business websites or intranets.