- 15 July 2021
- Local Media Releases
The beginning of August is 'Hats On’ for Canberra primary schools and early childhood services as ultraviolet (UV) levels begin to rise above 3.
Unlike the sun's light which we can see, or the sun's warmth (infrared radiation) which we can feel, UV radiation cannot be seen or felt. Whilst August is still a cold month in the nation’s capital, UV levels are on the rise to levels that warrant sensible sun protection.
Cancer Council ACT's message is simple, when UV levels reach 3 and above, a combination of sun protection behaviour is required to protect against skin damage that can contribute to skin cancer later in life.
Cancer Council ACT’s SunSmart Officer David Wild notes that the higher the UV level, the quicker unprotected skin can damage, regardless if you experience noticeable sunburn or not.
“August is when we start to see daily UV levels climbing in the ACT, and reaching 3 or above,” said Mr Wild.
“Yes, even if it’s cold, if UV levels are 3 or above, sun protection behaviour is recommended".
Evidence suggests that during childhood and adolescence sun exposure plays a significant factor in the development of skin cancer later in life. Therefore, it is imperative that Canberra schools and early childhood centres implement and manage an effective sun protection policy when UV levels reach 3 and above. Traditionally, this happens between the months of August and May in the ACT.
The Beginning of August is Hats On Again for All Of Us.
Wearing sensible clothing and hats, making sunscreen accessible to students and teachers, and taking advantage of shade are all important when practicing good sun protection behaviour. This means children, students and teachers can significantly minimise their lifetime risk of developing skin damage and skin cancer.
ACT teachers and educators can also upskill their knowledge around skin cancer prevention by logging on and completing Cancer Council’s free Generation SunSmart PL.
If you are unsure of UV levels on any day, check out Cancer Council's free SunSmart app or visit the website for more information.
Every year over 12,000 Australians are diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer and approx. 2,200 Australians will die from skin cancer each year. The majority of skin cancers are preventable. ___________________________________________________________________________________
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