Slip, slop ... forget it. We're missing the sunburn message

A beautiful clean break at Buddina under blue skies had sun-kissed beachgoers watching surfers and ships heading into the Port of Brisbane.
A beautiful clean break at Buddina under blue skies had sun-kissed beachgoers watching surfers and ships heading into the Port of Brisbane. Iain Curry

THE catchy slip, slop, slap jingle has been presented to Queenslanders in various forms for more than five decades, but a staggering number of young adults are still not getting the message.

A co-operative study between the Queensland Institute of Medical Research and Queensland Health has found one in eight men and one in 12 women get sunburnt across the state on an average weekend.

The report is based on interviews with 16,473 Queenslanders aged 18 and over during 2009 and 2010.

Men aged between 18 and 24 who worked outdoors were found to be at most risk of sunburn, as were people who took part in recreational physical activity.

The report also found people aged 18-24 were seven times more likely to suffer sunburn than those aged over 65.

Medical experts have been staggered by the results.

Sunshine Coast Local Medical Association president Wayne Herdy said most cases of sunburn did not come to the attention of medical professionals.

"We wouldn't see anything like those figures," he said.

"It's more like the tip of the iceberg.''

Dr Herdy was not surprised to see young adults were high risk. He said they were prone to "risk-taking behaviour" and often did not associate the long-term consequence of skin cancer with getting sunburnt.

 

>> The raw facts

  • Young men aged between 18-24 years who worked outdoors were the most at risk of sunburn.
  • People who take part in recreational physical activity, no matter the duration, were more likely to report sunburn.
  • People aged 18-24 years are seven times more likely to suffer sunburn than those aged over 65.
  • People aged 35-44 are five times more likely to be burnt.

Topics:  skin cancer, sunburn, tanning



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