Watch Your Mate's Back!

Melanoma Institute Australia is partnering with Surf Life Saving to remind all beach-goers this summer to be smart when in the sun.

Over exposure to the sun is the cause of 95% of melanomas, meaning that this potentially fatal disease can largely be avoided by practicing sun safety.

Here are Melanoma Institute Australia's tips on the best and most effective ways to protect your skin from the sun:

  • SEEK – shade yourself from the sun during the hottest part of the day (11am-3pm) using a sun shelter, umbrella, tree or even a building.
  • SLIP – cover your skin with the right clothing e.g. long-sleeved, collared shirts featuring closely woven fabric and an appropriate UV rating
  • SLOP – use a broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen with 50+ sun protection factor (SPF). Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before going outside and re-apply every 2 hours.
  • SLAP – wear a broad-brimmed hat to protect your face, head, ears and neck from the sun.
  • SLIDE – shield your eyes with wrap-around sunglasses that meet Australian Standard AS1067.

It's not just about looking after yourself; Watch Your Mates Back is Melanoma Institute Australia's campaign aimed at Aussie "mateship". Here are a few smart idea to look out for your mates this summer:

  • Planning a picnic or a BBQ? Pick a spot with lots of shade. And don't forget the esky.
  • Off to the beach? Choose a time outside the peak sun period of 11am-3pm.
  • When your mate's hat blows off into a group of girls, offer to retrieve it for him.

These are just a few suggestions of how we can look after ourselves, and our mates, while still enjoying our beautiful beaches.

Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) remains a key partner of the Watch Your Mates Back campaign.

Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA), President, Graham Ford said, "Surf Life Saving Australia is very pleased to be working with Melanoma Institute Australia on this incredibly important campaign.

“Our aim is to make sure that all of our members are aware of the dangers of the sun, know exactly how to practice sun-safety, and how to detect and prevent melanoma before it becomes life-threatening,” Ford said.

"In 95 per cent of cases, melanoma is caused by over exposure to the sun, proving how prevention is key to reducing the impact of melanoma," he added.

Melanoma Institute will be distributing Watch Your Mate's Back posters to all NSW clubs before the end of the year.

To learn more about other ways you can Watch Your Mate's Back visit and download the A3 Watch Your Mates Back Poster to help spread the word.

Fri 5 Dec 2014