Teenagers Urged to #OwnYourTone This Summer

Teenagers Urged to #OwnYourTone This Summer

With new research showing one in four (26 per cent) teenagers are getting sunburnt on summer weekends, Cancer Council are using National Skin Cancer Action Week to encourage teenagers to #OwnYourTone.


Cancer Council’s National Sun Protection Survey compared sun protection habits of teenagers aged 12-17 over time to form a picture of how well Australian teens are protecting themselves from harmful UV (ultraviolet) radiation. The latest survey results show there has been no significant decrease in teenage sunburn rates in the last 12 years.

Anita Dessaix, Chair, Public Health Committee, Cancer Council Australia said, “The findings from the National Sun Protection Survey are extremely worrying. Over half a million teenagers are getting sunburnt on an average summer weekend - increasing their risk of getting skin cancer in the future.”

“Teenagers are a priority population. They spend lots of time outdoors and not enough are adopting sun protection behaviours.”

“The damage caused in the teenage years also significantly increases the risks of skin cancer in later life.”

The results were also illuminating when looking at which sun protection factors teenagers adopted. While 38 per cent of teenagers slopped on SPF30 or higher sunscreen only 10 percent slipped on a sun protective top. Cancer Council is very keen to remind us that sunscreen is not a suit of armour – it should be used alongside protective clothing, a broadbrim hat, shade and sunglasses.

Professor David Francis, President of the Australasian College of Dermatologists said “With two in three Australians diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70 and over 2,000 deaths due to skin cancer in Australia each year, it is vital to get the message through about sun protection in Australia.

“We need all Australians to understand that sunburn is the result of damage to the skin. The single greatest risk factor for skin cancer is excessive exposure to UV and it is largely preventable by adequately protecting yourself from the sun.

“We should be using sun protection whenever UV levels are three or above.

“Bearing this in mind, we encourage teenagers to #OwnYourTone and protect their natural skin tone to avoid ending up red-faced this summer.

“By educating teenagers on the importance of sun protection, we can prevent a rise in the number of skin cancer diagnoses in the future.”

Source: Cancer Council

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