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24 Dec 2019

The AMA is reminding parents to protect their children against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays whenever they’re outdoors this summer.

AMA President, Dr Tony Bartone, said today that just a few serious sunburns as a child can increase the risk of developing skin cancers later in life.

“It is important that we do all we can to make the holiday season a safe and enjoyable time for children,” Dr Bartone said.

“Children are more vulnerable to the damaging impact of the sun because of their delicate skin.

“The Cancer Council warns that exposure to UV radiation during the first 15 years of life greatly increases the risk of developing skin cancer later in life.

“Kids don’t have to be at the pool, beach, or on vacation to get too much sun.

“Before your kids run out the door, make sure they’re geared up for summer fun and summer sun safety.

“Children should wear sunglasses, a hat, and protective clothing when outside.

“Remember to monitor their sun exposure as kids often get sunburned when they are outdoors and unprotected for longer than expected.

“Plan ahead by keeping sun protection handy, and seeking or building your own shaded area.

“Don’t forget to be a role model and practise good sun protection behaviours.

“Australia has some of the world’s highest levels of UV radiation and sunburn can happen even on cooler or overcast days.”

AMA tips for protecting yourself and family from sun exposure:

  • Always use a sunscreen that is SPF 15 or higher and apply it at least 30 minutes before sun exposure.
  • Don't forget to protect the ears, nose, lips, legs, and tops of the feet, and apply sunscreen even if it's cloudy outside.
  • Remember to reapply sunscreen every two hours and directly after swimming or exercising.
  • When possible, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants and skirts to provide protection from UV rays.
  • Wear a broad-brimmed hat that covers the ears, face, and back of the neck.
  • Stay in the shade as much as possible.



  • The Cancer Council of Australia warns that exposure to UV radiation causes 95 per cent of melanomas, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
  • Skin cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Australia.
  • One in eight adult Australians and one in five teenage Australians are sunburnt on an average summer weekend, according to the Cancer Council.
  • More than 434,000 people are treated for one or more non-melanoma cancers each year, and more than11,500 people are treated for melanomas.
  • Sunburn is most likely to occur while at the beach or a swimming pool, engaging in water activities, gardening, or enjoying a barbeque.

24 December 2019

CONTACT:        John Flannery            02 6270 5477 / 0419 494 761
                          Maria Hawthorne       02 6270 5478 / 0427 209 753

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Published: 24 Dec 2019