THE BASIC SUN PROTECTION MESSAGES
• Limit exposure during midday hours.
• Seek shade, especially during midday hours, when the sun’s UV rays are at their peak.
• Wear protective clothing (UPF50+).
• Wear sunglasses.
• Wear a broad-brimmed hat to protect the eyes, face and neck.
• Protect the eyes with wrap-around design sunglasses or sunglasses with side panels.
• Use and reapply broad-spectrum sunscreen of sun protection factor (SPF)15+ liberally.
• Avoid tanning beds.
• Protect babies and young children: this is particularly important.
• Taking certain medications as well as using perfumes and deodorants can sensitize your skin, causing serious burns in the sun. Ask your pharmacist for advice.
• Sun exposure increases skin cancer risk, accelerates skin ageing and causes damage to the eyes. Protect yourself!
Shade, clothing and hats provide the best protection – apply sunscreen to parts of the body that remain exposed, like the face and hands. Sunscreen should never be used to prolong the duration of sun exposure. Targeted groups must include children and young people, since frequent UV radiation exposure and a history of sunburn during childhood and adolescence is an important risk factor for skin cancer, especially for potentially lethal malignant melanoma.
SUN TANNING MESSAGES
• Tanning does not stop much UV radiation! Even when your skin is tanned, limit your exposure during midday hours, and continue to protect yourself.
• Sunburn is literally an indication that your skin has overdosed on UV radiation so Slip! Slop! Slap! and Save Your Skin.
PERCEPTION OF UV RADIATION
• Cloudy weather does not mean you can not get burnt. It is the UV radiation in the sun rays that burns you and causes skin cancer; and UV radiation can penetrate through cloud.
• Remember the sun does not need to feel hot to damage your skin and eyes. The damage is done by UV radiation, which is not seen or felt.
• Don’t forget your sunscreen, hat and long-sleeved shirt. That should be all you need to make sure you don’t get a nasty dose of sunburn.
• High altitudes and fresh snow can double your UV radiation exposure, so wear sunglasses and sunscreen!
• School break means fun in the sun for the lucky ones. If you’re one of them, remember to pack a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses.
• Springtime, gardening time. While tending your flower beds, don’t forget to protect your skin.
• If your shadow is short or if you are exposed for a long time – protect yourself!
• A lot of UV radiation can pass through clouds.
• In the mountains, UV radiation levels increase by approximately 10% with every 1000 metres in altitude. Snow reflection can double the quantity of UV radiation you are exposed to.
• Fresh snow can double your UV radiation exposure, so wear sunglasses and sunscreen!
MESSAGES FOR CHILDREN AS A SPECIAL RISK GROUP
• Extended sun exposure during childhood increases the risk of skin cancer later in life and can cause serious damage to the eye.
• All children below age 15 have sensitive skin and eyes – protect them and set a good example for them!
• Children below one year of age must never stay in direct sun.
• The sun is getting stronger and children are exposed to its damaging rays during lunch and recess. Encourage your children to use sun protection and to take a break in the shade.
• Most of our lifetime UV radiation exposure occurs before age 18. Protect your children, their skin will be healthier and look younger throughout their lives.
• Parents – protect your children from the sun. Teach them about avoiding sun exposure and the proper steps for sun protection.