Sun smart tips for families

Keep summer fun with the right protection
Keep summer fun with the right protection 

Are you doing all you can to ensure your kids are protected from the sun's rays this holiday season?


The arrival of summer marks the beginning of the first of many long, hot days spent outdoors for families around Australia. But our sun-loving nation also has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world.

Between 2003 and 2007, melanoma was the most commonly diagnosed cancer among adolescents and young adults. But it doesn’t have to continue this way.

Most parents assume they know the basics of sun protection but there are many simple things that are often easily overlooked when families venture out into the sun for the day. Follow these sun smart tips to protect your family this summer.

Cover up. Broad brim, bucket style or legionnaire hats offer the best coverage from the sun. Find a shaded area to enjoy the day, wear sunglasses and a rash vest or shirt.

Use a high SPF sunscreen. SPF 50+ Broad spectrum sunscreens provide the best protection against sunburn caused by UVB rays and long term skin damage caused by UVA rays in comparison to SPF30 sunscreens.

Apply enough sunscreen. Read the label carefully to ensure you are applying the correct amount of sunscreen before going outside. Don’t forget to apply to the neck, temples, ears, lips, face and nose as these are the most common sites of skin damage and cancer

Avoid the hottest part of the day. When planning a trip to the beach or the park try to arrive early or late to avoid being in the sun during the hours between 10am and 3pm. This is when the sun’s rays are at their hottest and can do the most damage to our skin.

Reapply sunscreen regularly. Sunscreen needs to be reapplied at frequent intervals, at least every two hours and again after swimming, excessive perspiration, and towel drying.

No sun protection product offers 100 percent protection from the sun’s UV rays. Ensure you combine a high SPF sunscreen with protective clothing and shade to reduce the risk of sunburn and skin cancer.

Taking precautions now, while your children are young, will help protect them from becoming a skin cancer statistic in the future. 

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