Learn about: skin cancer, being SunSmart, and how to incorporate sun protection strategies into your day to day activities.

Generation SunSmart

SunSmart is seeking your shade stories

If you’ve ever been to your local playground or swimming pool and appreciated the shade, or lack thereof, Cancer Council WA’s SunSmart team wants to hear about it.

The SunSmart team is seeking community feedback on the availability of shade at public outdoor places and open spaces in Western Australia.

The importance of sun protection

Overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the major cause of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer. This means that the majority of skin cancers in WA are preventable.

The SunSmart message encourages West Australian’s to protect themselves when outdoors with sun protective clothing, hats, sunscreen, shade and sunglasses. Being SunSmart is particularly important throughout childhood and adolescence; a time when sun exposure plays a critical role in determining future skin cancer risk.

Seeking shade

Seeking shade is an effective strategy and, when used in conjunction with other measures, enables maximum sun protection to be achieved. Good quality shade can be created by a built structure (e.g. shade sails) or the natural environment (e.g. trees).

The need for shade in WA

SunSmart Manager Mark Strickland emphasises that high quality shade in the community is crucial because we live in such a high UV environment.

“In Perth, we only get 15 days per year where the UV Index doesn’t reach 3* – so it’s important that public facilities and open spaces provide adequate shade year-round to protect West Australians from the harsh UV.”

SunSmart is interested in hearing about public places & open spaces. This includes schools, parks, playgrounds, skate parks, sport/recreation centres, swimming pools & public venues – in fact, anywhere that you’ve had a positive or negative experience with shade.

Share your shade story

For more information, or to share your shade story visit myuv.com.au/shadestories.

Shade stories will assist Cancer Council WA’s advocacy efforts to improve the availability and quality of shade in the community.

*Sun protection is recommended when the UV Index is 3 and above.

If you think parents in your school or club would be interested too, please include this snippet in your newsletter to encourage them to have their say.