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Victorians urged to be sun smart as temperatures hit record levels


Paul Hayes


25/01/2019 12:10:32 PM

Extreme temperatures have prompted calls for Victorians to heed the risk of severe sunburn.

‘At this time of year, unprotected skin can be burnt in as little as 11 minutes,’ SunSmart Manager Heather Walker said. (Image: David Crosling)
‘At this time of year, unprotected skin can be burnt in as little as 11 minutes,’ SunSmart Manager Heather Walker said. (Image: David Crosling)

As the state experiences its hottest temperatures in a decade, SunSmart Victoria is urging people to heed the risk of severe sunburn.
 
‘A sunburn is evidence that your skin has been seriously damaged by the sun’s ultraviolet [UV] radiation and significantly increases your melanoma risk,’ SunSmart Manager Heather Walker said.
 
According to SunSmart, new data from Victorian public emergency department presentations shows:

  • 278 people presented to state hospital emergency departments with sunburn in 2017–18  
  • 222 presentations were recorded in the 2017–18 summer
  • 121 presentations – four people each day – were recorded in January 2018 alone.
‘It’s so shocking to see so many Victorians have been burnt in the last summer alone, not just once but multiple times. In some cases, sunburns have been severe enough that people have gone to emergency,’ Ms Walker said.
 
‘This is not a pattern we want repeated.
 
‘We urge all Victorians to be sun smart this weekend and every day this summer by using sun protection whenever they are outside. That’s a combination of covering clothing, sunscreen, a hat, shade and sunglasses.
 
‘These steps are just as important if you’re at home, enjoying a backyard barbecue or mowing the lawns, as they are if you’re headed to the beach.
 
‘Don’t underestimate the sun’s UV. At this time of year, unprotected skin can be burnt in as little as 11 minutes.’
 



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