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ultraviolet; blister; sunburn; sunscreen; sun; sunglasses; UV; UVA; UVB; burn; tan; suntan; slip; slop; slap; seek; slide; sunglasses; eyes; skin; first aid; sunlight; cancer; SPF; lotion; allergy; acne; zinc; sun block; fake;



In Australia, people like you have grown up with the slogan, Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide.

Slip on sun protective clothing, slop on the sunscreen, slap on a hat.

Seek shade, and Slide on sunglasses that will protect your eyes from the damage that sunlight can cause.

sun safe

In summer it is also a good idea to wear something on your feet, as the soles of your feet can become burnt from walking on hot ground.

If you forget to slip, slop , slap, seek and slide, you are likely to get sunburnt.

This can be a very painful experience and is like a burn from fire.

Your skin may be red, and if the sunburn is bad, you may get blisters. As the sunburnt skin heals, your skin will peel and this can be very itchy.

What you can do for sunburn

  • Cool down by having a cool bath or use wet cloths to cool you down if it is only in one spot.
  • sunburnUse soothing lotion - choose one which is especially for sunburn.
  • Don't use soap, as this could irritate your poor burnt skin.
  • Stay cool and rest.
  • If your skin comes up in watery blisters, you should see a doctor.

Next time remember slip, slop, slap, seek and slide.

I guess you won't really need reminding though, as sunburn can be pretty painful.


When your grandparents wanted to get a suntan, some of them used cooking oil or tanning oil [which was a lot like cooking oil] and they would lie in the sun for hours. And then they would get sunburnt and get sun damage to their skin. 

Many people would then spend hours using after-sun care products to try to keep their skin from blistering or flaking off! But often these did not make any difference.

Many of them have wrinkly skin on their face because of getting too much sun. Not a good look.

Nowadays we are all realising how dangerous too much sun is for the health of our skin so we do all we can to protect it.

The sun can damage your skin

The sun can burn the top layer of your skin and too much sun can damage even the lower layers.

What causes the damage?

sunburnUltraviolet (say ul-tra-vy-o-let) radiation (UV) is the part of sunlight that causes damage to your skin.

There are 3 types of these rays, UVA, UVB and UVC.

  • UVB rays are the main cause of sunburn, suntan and skin damage.
  • UVA can also damage your skin.

Together they can cause sunburn, make skin look older and leathery looking, as well as cause more serious problems like skin cancer.

  • UVC rays don't reach the Earth's surface as they are blocked out by the Earth's atmosphere, including the ozone layer.


What you should know:

  • sunburnSPF means Sun Protection Factor.
  • SPF-15 sunscreens will filter out 93.3% of the UVB rays.
  • SPF-30 sunscreens filter out an extra 3%. (SPF-30 sunscreens are not twice as good.)
  • SPF-50 are even a bit better and these are the ones that are now recommended. They do not last twice or 3 times as long.
  • Broad-spectrum sunscreens filter out UVB rays plus 90% of UVA rays.
  • You need to put SPF-50+ sunscreen onto clean skin 20 minutes before you go in the sun.
  • Put it on all areas of skin that will not be protected by your clothes - plus under clothes that the sunlight can go through (if you can see through it, sunlight can get through it!)
  • Make sure you put on enough sunscreen. Most people do not put enough on!
  • Whatever sunscreen you use, read the instructions and put more on when it is time - after two or three hours usually, or after you go for a swim.

There are different brands of sunscreen. The most expensive is not always the best. If you are not sure which one to pick, ask a pharmacist.

  • A few people may have an allergy to some sunscreens - you may get a rash or itchy lumps. Try another brand, as you need the protection.
  • There are some sunscreens especially for young tender skin like baby's skin.
  • 'Nearly teens' may want to use gels or lotions on their faces, as they are less oily than creams if you have acne or get pimples.
  • Use water-resistant sunscreen if you are going in water or playing a sport.
  • You can use zinc cream on your nose and tops of ears to block out the sun. You need to use it quite thickly and check regularly that you haven't rubbed it off.  
  • Fake tan lotions or sprays are not sunscreens - you still need to protect your skin.

Dr Kate says:

Dr Kate

Wear a broad-brimmed or legionnaire style hat to protect your face, ears and the back of your neck. Skin damage when you are young can lead to problems when you are older. Plus, too much sun makes wrinkles on your face and you don't want to look old before you really are old do you?

Do you want to be sure that you are keeping safe from harmful UV rays? Do you  want to make sure you are getting enough vitamin D from the sun to keep your bones strong and healthy? The Cancer Council has an app which could be helpful. Check out this link. 

What some children said

"The sun can be very damaging to your skin. Once my brother, Bradley, was playing all day and his cheeks were very red.   Next time he put sun screen on."

"In the 'olden days' people used to lie all day in the sun. They didn't know that you can get skin cancer."

"Last year my sister Alicia got sunburnt at a swimming pool. Now her back looks like she has white bathers on. Next summer she is going to cover up - then she won't get burnt again."

"Having a sunburn is very painful. At the river I got burnt on the neck and ears. I wear a hat now."

"My grandad often has to go and have skin cancers taken off his face and ears. I wear a hat and sunscreen. I don't want to be like grandad".









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We've provided this information to help you to understand important things about staying healthy and happy. However, if you feel sick or unhappy, it is important to tell your mum or dad, a teacher or another grown-up.


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