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Even if it’s colder, the sun burns just as fast

While many parts of the country have experienced a much cooler and cloudier summer than usual, people should still remember to “slip, slop, slap, and wrap”, NIWA has warned.

Dr Richard McKenzie, principal scientist radiation said UV will continue to reach extreme levels for most of the country over the midday period until the end of February.

“We’re talking about UV levels greater than 10. The World Health Organisation recommends people need to use sun protection when levels are 3 and above. UV levels above 3 are being measured for many hours each day throughout the country and this will persist beyond the end of February, so sun protection is extremely important.”

SunSmart manager Laurianne Reinsborough said it is not the sun’s heat that burns, but UV, so people can still get sunburnt even on cool or cloudy days.

“Sunburn is a big concern because it is linked to melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. Unfortunately, our Kiwi lifestyle and fierce sun have given us the highest rate of melanoma in the world,” she said.

“During the daylight saving months, especially between 10am and 4pm, remember to ‘slip, slop, slap and wrap’ – slip on a shirt or into the shade, slop on plenty of broad-spectrum SPF30+ sunscreen, slap on a hat and wrap on a pair of wrap-around sunglasses.”

– Homepage image / Debbie Zillwood


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