Teens saying no to the tan: new research reveals
NEW research indicates more Queensland teenagers are ditching dangerous tans.
The Cancer Council's National Sun Protection Survey shows the number of teens desiring a tan has significantly decreased in the past decade, down to 38% from 60% in 2003/04.
Despite the healthier attitude, the survey showed an urgent need for improvement in the uptake of sun protective behaviours among Australians aged 12-17 years.
The report revealed around 23% of Australian teens still get sunburnt on summer weekends, similar to numbers reported a decade ago in 2003/04.
Cancer Council Queensland spokeswoman Katie Clift said the results were encouraging, but there was still a substantial need for teens to get smarter when spending time in the sun.
"Queenslanders aged 16-24 have the highest rates of sunburn in the state*," Ms Clift said.
"Only 15 to 20% of our young Queenslanders use broad-brimmed hats, and the use of sunscreen and sunglasses is far less in younger age groups than older age groups.
"It's absolutely imperative that our teens get smarter about sun protection - sunburn isn't cool - it causes premature ageing of the skin and significantly increases skin cancer risk.
"It's encouraging to see the desire for a tan decline significantly in the past decade, but behaviours still need to change to prevent skin cancer.
"All young Queenslanders need to Slip on protective clothing, Slop on SPF30+ or above broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen, Slap on a broad-brimmed hat, Seek shade and Slide on wrap-around sunnies to best reduce their risk of skin cancer."
Every day, around 370 Queenslanders are told they have skin cancer. About 133,000 non-melanoma skin cancers and 3000 melanomas are diagnosed across the state each year.
National Skin Cancer Action Week runs from November 16-22 - a timely reminder for all Queenslanders to check their skin and seek the advice of their GP if they notice any changes.
Sun protection is required when the UV Index is 3 and above. In Queensland, the UV Index is 3 and above all year round, so Cancer Council Queensland encourages sun protection through every season.
More information about Cancer Council Queensland and staying SunSmart is available here.