Keeping your Whānau Safe in the Sun
Ahuriri and Aotearoa are lucky to experience beautiful hot weather over the summer months but we all know that we need to take care to stay sunsmart, especially through raumati (summer). Here are some common myths or mistakes people make this time of year:
I can’t get sunburnt on a cloudy day.
FALSE. You can still get sunburnt on a cloudy day. UV radiation can get through light cloud cover, so unprotected skin can still be damaged.
I can’t get sunburnt when I’m in or around the water.
FALSE. Water offers minimal protection from UV radiation. Reflection from water can increase your exposure to UV radiation.
I only need to be SunSmart if I’m going outside for a long time.
FALSE. It is possible to get sunburnt in a very short time. When UV levels are high, damage to fair skin can occur in as little as 11 or 12minutes.
A baseball cap or visor gives me good sun protection.
FALSE. A baseball cap or visor does not protect your chin, ears or neck. Visors don’t protect your scalp. A hat with a wide brim is thebest hat to protect you from the sun.
Putting sunscreen on once in the morning means I’m protected all day.
FALSE. You need to reapply your sunscreen every two hours, as well as after swimming or sweating. Use all the SunSmart steps - Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap.
I don’t need to worry about sunburn as I have dark skin.
FALSE. New Zealand can have periods of very high UV radiation. Everyone, regardless of skin type and colour, is at risk of skin and eye damage.
Using a sunscreen with SPF50 means I can stay outside much longer than if I use a sunscreen withSPF15.
FALSE. A high-number SPF does not mean you can spend more time outside without reapplying your sunscreen. All sunscreens should be reapplied every two hours, as well as after swimming or sweating.
REMINDER: Make sure you remember to slip, slop, slap and wrap like always! Slip into the shade, slop on sunscreen, slap on a T-shirt of cover up and wrap your karu (eyes) with some sunnies.
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