Slip, slop, slap, seek, slide

Dusty

John McDouall Stuart
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Australia is well known for harsh sun and a high incidence of skin cancer. Evidence indicates that childhood sun exposure can significantly increase the risk of skin cancer during a persons lifetime. Bushcrafting or any other outdoor activities can cause serious skin damage if we do not act on employing measures to protect ourselves and our children.


The Cancer Council of Australia recommends that all 5 measures listed below should be followed to provide us with the best protection:
  • SLIP - on protective clothing
  • SLOP - sunscreen (broad spectrum water resistant SPF 30+)
  • SLAP - on a hat
  • SEEK - shade
  • SLIDE - sunglasses
RECOMMENDED HINTS:


1. Check the SunSmart UV Alert

Forcasted and issued by the Bureau of Meteorology. See weather and warning link on this site or check daily newspaper.

2. Choose the right Sunscreen

It doesn't matter what skin type you are a broad spectrum, water resistant, SPF 30+ should be used. Check that the suncreen is labelled with these three components to ensure maximum protection that will give a rating to filter against UVA and UVB rays. Apply 20 minutes before going outside and reapply minimum every 2 hours. Apply more often if wiped or washed off. Sunscreen has been deemed safe for babies (Cancer Council Australia, 2011).

3. Applying enough suncreen

You will need a teaspoon for each limb, front and back of the body and half a teaspoon for the face, neck and ears.

Under application of the product will render it ineffective and you may only achieve as little as 1/2 of the protection that is labelled on the product. Under application can be an easy thing to do which was shown in a recent research study investigating suncreen application thickness. 85% of the participants in the study had actually under applied the recommended dose of sunscreen and they were following a standard protocol (Bauer, O'Brien & Kimlin, 2010).

4. Minimise Sun Exposure
  • Plan your activities outside peak UV times of 1000 hrs - 1500 hrs.
  • Use trees and structures that cast a shadow to provide shade.
However shade is not enough to stop reflected UV radiation from other surfaces. This is why we need to apply all measures.
  • Apply sunscreen as discussed.
  • Wear clothes to cover your body (loose clothing, tightly woven). Can buy UV protective clothing.
  • Wear broad rimmed hat to shade face, ears, neck, head.
  • Combination of sunglasses (to Australian Standards), and a broad rimmed hat will prevent 98% UV radiation exposure to the eyes.
Please see Cancer Council Australia website for more detailed information on a range of topics and fact sheets.

http://www.cancer.org.au/home.htm


References

Bauer, U., O'Brien, D.S., & Kimlin, M.G. (2010). A new method to quantify the application thickness of sunscreen on skin. Queenland University Technology Digital Repository. Accessed 19 November, 2011.
http://eprints.qut.edu.au/38505/1/c38505.pdf

Cancer Council Australia, (2005). Use of SPF30+ sunscreens. Accessed 19 November, 2011. http://www.cancer.org.au/File/Polic...ents/PS-Use_of_SPF30_sunscreens_June_2005.pdf

Cancer Council Australia, (2011). Preventing skin cancer.Accessed 19 November, 2011.
http://www.cancer.org.au//cancersmartlifestyle/SunSmart/Preventingskincancer.htm
 
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Hairyman

Ludwig Leichhardt
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Thanks for the reminder Dusty.
One teaspoon per limb.
I tend to minimise my sun exposure by keepig to the shade when I feel the hot sun on my skin, but this fails
on cloudy days. Ive had the worst suburns on cloudy days.
 
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Dusty

John McDouall Stuart
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Thanks for the reminder Dusty.
One teaspoon per limb.
I tend to miimise my sun exposure by keepig to the shade when I feel the hot sun on my skin, but this fails
on cloudy days. Ive had the worst suburns on cloudy days.
A huge problem for me too. With all the bushwalking I have been doing I have noticed doing all 5 measures was not enough as my skin was continually red. That prompted me to do a bit of research. Problem for me was under application of sunscreen. Now I am just lathering the stuff on which is working. Last thing I want is skin cancer on nose or face. Seen to many people have removals and skin grafting. Not nice!!
 

chutes

Mors Kochanski
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Thanks Dusty.

I don't like sunscreen all that much, so I tend to use too little and rely more on shirt sleeves and trousers. One teaspoon per limb... Got it.
 

junglewil

Russell Coight
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Nice post, and something ALL educators and parents should adehere to...Thanks Dusty
 

Dusty

John McDouall Stuart
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SLIDE - Choosing Sunglasses

I thought I would investigate this as I am due for new sunglasses and never paid much attention in the past to reading the label before I buy. In the past I have just focussed on sunnies with slim arms for comfort and dark lenses to cut out the savage QLD glare. The other thing is I am getting older so I maybe in for my first lot of outdoor prescription glasses.

For those interested in sunglasses I posed myself a set of questions and the answers I found:

* What are the Australian standards?
The standards have 5 lens categories.
0 = Fashion item, not sunglasses - very low sun glare reduction, some UV protection
1 = Fashion item, not sunglasses - limited sun glare reduction, some UV protection
2 = Sunglasses - medium sun glare reduction, good UV protection
3 = Sunglasses - high sun glare reduction, good UV protection
4 = Sunglasses: special purpose - very high sun glare reduction, good UV protection

* Do I need a particular style?
Wrap arounds, close fitting with large lenses.

* What about prescription glasses used?
Australian standards does not cover prescription glasses used for eye/sun protection. However use same style as above, with UV coating. Ask optometrist for level of UV reduction that can be provided if UV coated. If glasses are to be tinted then ask about UV reduction as some tints will only reduce glare but not protect against UV radiation.

* What risks do I run if I do not protect my eyes properly?
Eye exposure to sun overtime can cause cataracts, cancer of the conjunctiva, skin cancer of eyelids, pterygium and other damage.
Mild irritation e.g. excessive blinking, difficulty looking at strong light, swelling.
Sunburn of cornea which is like a welders flash or snow blindness

Cancer Council Australia recommends:
Style as above
Australian Standard categories: 2,3,4
Glasses that transmit little UV radiation should be labelled UV 400, or EPF (eye protection factor) 9-10.


If you want to know more I recommend the Cancer Council Australia's Eye Protection position statement (2008) which I used as my source
http://www.cancer.org.au/File/PolicyPublications/Position_statements/PS-Eyeprotection-August2006.pdf







 
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