SunSmart reminds Victorians to Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, and Slide into new-found freedoms

Tuesday 9 November, 2021

Less than half of men use sun protection in their daily routine     

As Victoria enters the summer months and COVID restrictions ease, SunSmart is reminding Victorians to use sun protection as they enjoy their new-found freedoms.  

Launching today, the campaign will specifically target men after a national Cancer Council study showed they are neglecting certain body parts when it comes to sun protection.  

The campaign’s tagline, when you cover things, they last longer: same goes for you urges men to cover themselves just as much as they protect their loved ones and their belongings. The ad depicts a dad covering up his beloved barbeque from the sun before his son points out he should be protecting himself too. 

Results from the 2019 Summer Sun Protection Survey (Life in Australia™), found males who were sunburnt on summer weekends were more likely than females to report having been burnt on the following specific body parts: 

  • Nose (43% compared to females at 24%) 
  • Ears (28% compared to females at 7%) 
  • Legs (26% compared to females at 13%) 
  • Back of the knees (12% compared to females at 1%) 

Despite 79% of men surveyed agreeing that if they regularly protect themselves from the sun, they can avoid skin cancer, less than half agreed that sun protection was part of their daily routine (49%).  

When it comes to the five recommended forms of sun protection, it was found that when outdoors on summer weekends, less than a third of men slipped on protective clothing, slopped on sunscreen, slapped on a wide-brimmed hat, or sought out shade. However, around half of men surveyed reported they slid on a pair of sunglasses when heading outside.  

Compared to women, it was found that men were worse at protecting themselves with three out of the five: sunscreen and sunglasses use, as well as seeking out shade.                               

Craig Sinclair, Head of Prevention Division at Cancer Council Victoria, said the new campaign served as an important reminder for men not to be complacent when it comes to protecting their skin.   

“As a dad, my first instincts are to protect my family, so I understand how easy it is to forget to show myself the same level of protection” he said. 

“Twice as many men as women die from melanoma each year, demonstrating that we still need that reminder to be SunSmart, especially when males are more likely to spend time outdoors on weekends than females (75% compared to 63%).  

“It’s never too late to protect your skin and sun protection is essential at any age to significantly reduce skin cancer risk.” 

Head of SunSmart, Heather Walker urged all Victorians to remember sun protection when venturing out and about this summer.  

“71% of men know melanoma kills more men than women, so it's alarming to see them not heeding our advice to cover up and protect themselves,” she said. 

“Masks might be coming off outdoors, but sun protection is here to stay. 

“As we start to enjoy our outdoor pleasures after lockdown, it’s the perfect time to remind all Victorians to Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide to protect their skin from damaging UV.  

“Check your sunscreen expiry date, invest in a new broad-brimmed hat for the summer, and download the SunSmart app for daily access to the UV levels and sun protection times in your area.” 

Funded by the Victorian Government, the SunSmart campaign is running for its second year, which acts as a reminder to men of the dangers of UV radiation and just how easy it is to use sun protection.  

The campaign will be broadcast across television, radio, and shared across social media. 

Sun protection is recommended when UV levels are 3 or higher. SunSmart recommends people: 

  • Slip on clothing that covers as much skin as possible 
  • Slop on SPF30 (or higher) broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen 
  • Slap on a broad-brimmed hat that shades the face, ears and neck 
  • Seek shade
  • Slide on sunglasses that meet the Australian Standard for UV protection  

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