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New Survey Shows Attitudes To Tanning Are Changing

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
New Survey Shows Attitudes To Tanning Are Changing

Auckland, Dec 26 NZPA - New Zealanders' attitudes to getting a tan are changing -- with just under one in 10 Kiwis saying they want a bronzed look this summer, according to a new survey.

The Sun Exposure Survey, conducted every three years by the Health Sponsorship Council in conjunction with the Cancer Society of New Zealand, showed that nearly half (46 percent) of those surveyed recognised that not using sun protection was a "risk factor" for skin cancer.

SunSmart's Wayde Beckman said while it was encouraging to see that nearly half the population understood the risks associated with not protecting themselves from the sun, people were still getting sunburnt.

"One in five people who had been outside during the very high-risk sunburn period, between 11am and 4pm, had been sunburnt the previous weekend, a figure that has not changed significantly since the previous survey.

"The parts of the body most likely to have been sunburnt were those less likely to have been covered by clothing - the face, neck, shoulders and lower arms, which is consistent with previous years," Mr Beckman said.

He said sunburn was a big concern because it increased the risk of people developing melanoma skin cancer. About 300 New Zealanders die from melanoma each year, even though it was largely preventable.

"Children and adolescents are especially vulnerable to sunburn. As they get a bit older - from about the age of eight - they begin taking more responsibility for themselves and forming their own opinions.

"We urge parents to remain actively involved in their children's sun protection and not to let them get sunburnt. We don't want the ghosts of Christmas past coming back to haunt our children in the future," Mr Beckman said.

He said by following the slip, slop, slap and wrap rules, it was easy to be safe while enjoying the warmer weather and longer days.

? Slip on some sun-protective clothing, i.e. shirt with a collar and long sleeves, and trousers or long-legged shorts, and slip into some shade wherever possible

? Slop on SPF30+ sunscreen 15 minutes before going outdoors and every two hours afterwards. (Note: sunscreen should never be your only or main method of sun protection)

? Slap on a hat that protects your face, head, neck and ears.

? Wrap on some sunglasses. Choose sunglasses that cover the whole eye area.

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