Play safe in the sun #Summer

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Cii Radio| Ayesha Ismail| 17 November 2016| 16 Safar 1438

Play safe in the sun and reduce the high incidence of skin cancer in the country.
The Cancer Association of South Africa(CANSA) urges all South Africans to play safe in the sun and reduce the high incidence of skin cancer in the country, one the most common cancers in South Africa with almost 20 000 new cases every year.

“The good news is that skin cancer can be prevented, make sure you and your loved ones play safe all year round, but especially in summer time when the sun’s rays are the harshest. Make informed choices on selecting the right sun screen, protective clothing and staying in the shade”, says Sue Janse van Rensburg, CANSA’s CEO.

“We encourage children and youth especially to play safe in the sun – two blistering burns before the age of 18 can dramatically increase your risk of getting cancer later in life” she added.

Members of the public can use products bearing the CANSA Seal of Recognition (CSOR) emblem with confidence, knowing that the products were tested locally and have been approved for their protection abilities.

To help fight skin cancer and play safe in the sun, CANSA advocates the following:
• Cover up by wearing thickly woven fabric to prevent the sun’s harmful rays of reaching the skin. Wear a hat with a brim to protect the ears, nose, back of the neck and the face. Look out for UV protective swimsuits and beach wear, rash-vests, etc. that have UV protection factors. The rating for fabric is UPF (Ultra Violet Protection Factor) and they range from UPF20, 30, 40 and the maximum, UPF50.
• Always apply sunscreen of at least SPF 20 (Sun protection Factor) to all exposed skin areas.
• Protect your eyes against the sun by wearing sunglasses of at least UV400 ultra violet rating. Wrap-sunglasses ensures less UV from reaching the eyes.
• Avoid direct sunlight in the danger period between 10am and 3pm and seek shade where possible. All schools should include hats as part of the uniform and move outdoor activities outside the danger-period. Sufficient shade must be provided for learners during breaks and outdoor gatherings.
• Avoid using sunbeds and sunlamps at all costs as they are dangerous and research indicates that they double your risk of developing skin melanomas, the most dangerous form of skin cancer. CANSA has recommended that the Department of Health ban sunbeds and sunlamps.
• Take special care to protect children. Babies younger than one year should never be exposed to direct sunlight.
• All outside workers, for example, farmworkers and construction workers, should be provided with protective clothing including hats.
• Check your skin regularly for changes, unusual marks or moles. An annual medical check-up should include a skin check to detect possible skin cancer early. Everyone exposed to the sun is at risk of developing skin cancer whether you have light or dark skin.

Children can get seriously sunburnt. Here are some tips to bring relief:
• Cool the affected area with cool water, damp cloths or take a cool bath or shower.
• Apply a soothing lotion such as calamine lotion to affected areas.
• Take paracetamol for headache, pain or fever.
• Don’t cover affected areas with clothing if indoors.
• Drink plenty of water.
• Avoid the sun for the next 48 hours.

To prevent sunburn, stay out of the sun between 10am and 4pm. When exposed to the sun, always use a sunblock with a sun protection factor of 15 or more. Small children should wear protective clothing and hats.

Source – Health24