Slip, Slap and Slop! BC’s in for a Hot Weekend

The weather is sunny, it’s a long weekend and it’s time to hit the beach – but before you do, don’t forget your ‘sun sense’. I can recall many lazy days as a child, out on the beach or lake with not a care in the world, and I want my children to have (most) of that same freedom. One freedom they can do without though, is the pain of sunburn. So a daily battle of slathering sunscreen on small, squirmy people and on myself, is part of my summer exercise regime along with donning a large brimmed hat that travels with me on all our outdoor excursions. I hope that the sunburns of my early years won’t catch up with me.

And while I’m not alone in my lack of early sun sense, a 2010 report from the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer outlines an ongoing problem. Statistics show that young Canadians spend more time in the sun than adults, and young boys especially, can’t be bothered to apply sunscreen or wear a hat. Ah, the recklessness of youth. Clearly there’s more education needed.

I have to applaud the ‘Tanning is Out’ campaign that has ambassadors reaching out to youth in Vancouver. This is the kind of education that’s most likely to reach our reckless youth. The Tanning is Out blog is full of inspiration as is their goal is to get youth (and everyone else) to ‘rock their natural skin tone’ and extinguish the myth that you are getting a ‘healthy’ glow by tanning.

If you want to educate yourself, check out the Canadian Cancer Society website. It has some great tips, including a UV index page, so you can know your risks whether you’re in Vancouver or Vanderhoof.

Any ‘tan’, whether UV from the sun or a tanning bed, is damaging. Tans cause premature aging and potentially melanoma. This summer slip on a shirt, slap on a hat and slop on some sunscreen and rock your natural skin tone!

Samantha Hartley-Folz
Manager Policy & Programs
August 2012


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