A few weeks ago we ran a poll asking if you had been sunburnt this summer – we then sent the results to the New Zealand Cancer Society for their feedback as we try to better educate people on sun risks.
The poll wasn’t scientific but asked WeatherWatch.co.nz readers whether or not they had been sunburnt over summer and 53% said yes, 8% saying “badly”.
However an encouraging 47% said they hadn’t been burnt at all.
So is this a good or bad result?
We asked the Cancer Society that very question.
“It is great to see you are asking the question and raising awareness, as preventing over exposure to UVR and reducing the incidence of Sunburn is key to reducing our world leading rates of Melanoma” media advisor Ashten MacDonald told WeatherWatch.co.nz.
While acknowledging it’s a little difficult to comment on a one-off poll like this the Cancer Society certainly acknowledges more work needs to be done to educate people of the sun risks. “With more kiwis dying from skin cancer than road crashes, we can do better.”
Which raises a good point – ARE New Zealanders getting the message to be SunSmart?
“The results for the Health Promotion Agency Sun Exposure Survey 2016 indicate the beginning of a general decreasing trend in sunburn prevalence” says Ashten MacDonald.
“However we still have a way to go, as your poll showed getting sunburnt is still happening too frequently”.
MacDonalds says to reduce the risk of skin cancer we really encourage everyone to “Slip, Slop Slap and Wrap”, when the UVI (Ultra Violet Index) is 3 or above. Further information can be found in the links below
The Cancer Society indicated they were encouraged to hear WeatherWatch.co.nz is looking at bringing in the UVI all year round to all 1500 forecasts we have. We’ll be reaching out to them to ensure whatever we do has international standards appropriate for New Zealanders – but we believe with so many New Zealanders still getting sunburnt, even in winter, having a year round UVI is an important first step because even in winter the sun can damage our skin with high levels of UV.
Our thanks to the New Zealand Cancer Society for taking the time to respond to us.
*The below Poll ran from Jan 29 to Feb 4, 2017
HAVE YOU BEEN SUNBURNT SO FAR THIS SUMMER?