Many Australians would wake up in the morning, stick a hand outside the door and see how hot it is outside to decide what to wear that day. We’ve all done it before and we’ve all been wrong so many times. A chilly morning breeze can turn into a scorching summer day just a few hours later and we think to ourselves ‘I should’ve worn less’ while we sip on our iced coffee’s and try to catch a shade.
The thing about Australian weather is we can never know exactly what to expect. That’s why we’ve learnt to keep a keen eye on our weather apps so we can have a backup if our BBQ birthday party by the beach gets rained out.
One thing, however, is very constant and that is Australia’s UV index. If you’ve never heard of it before, the UV index is a simple way for us to determine how much exposure we are getting to harmful UV rays while we are out and about. Although invisible to the naked eye, UV radiation exposure is the leading cause of melanoma around the world. The scale ranges from 0 to 11+ where sun damage starts to occur from 3 onwards. This is definitely a high score you don’t want to set but Australia has been taking the trophy home for years. Just take this chart for example. Almost every square centimetre of our land has a UV index higher than 11 with some parts of Australia reaching upwards of 15 on the index!
In these conditions, skin cell damage occurs in less than 10 minutes of sun exposure. That means the quick stroll to the shops, or the walk around the block with your dog can give you enough exposure to harmful rays to cause permanent damage to your skin cells. The Cancer Foundation recommends Australians to stay indoors where possible between 10am to 2pm when the UV index is at its highest and when going outdoors, to keep yourself protected by Slipping into sun protective clothing, Slopping on SPF30+ or higher sunscreen, and Slapping on a wide brimmed hat, Seeking shade as much as possible, and Sliding on a pair of wrap around glasses.
While it's not always practical to follow these steps on a daily basis, it is becoming all the more important that we look after ourselves and our loved ones to keep us safe. If you want some tips on how to stay sun safe this summer, be sure to check out our page here!
SP arms Team,
This is for information purposes only, always consult your medical professional