Sun Safety

Protect yourself - or you'll cook!

Sun Safety is good sense. Don't fry your skin in the harsh hot summer sun on our Sydney Australia beaches.

You'll hear the words below spoken plenty of times when you're on your holidays here:

... 'Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap'

What do they mean?

They mean you must cover up your skin and eyes every way you can if you want to be Safe in the Sun.

And that's not just for our beaches - it's for anywhere in Australia when it's sunny and Ultra Violet radiation is a danger.

Here's how the safety slogan goes ...

  • So SLIP on a Shirt (long-sleeved is best)
  • SLOP on Sunscreen (use 30+ and reapply after swimming)
  • SLAP on a Hat
  • WRAP UV protective Sunglasses around your eyes

Be smart about your sun safety!

It's an important part of enjoying our Beach culture.

The sun is hottest between 10am and 3pm so avoid direct exposure during those hours.

Grab a coffee and some shade

You can do so in the many cafes near Sydney's beaches - or browse the shops during these hours.

At Manly Beach you've got The Corso and you may also find some shade under the Norfolk Pines.

At Bondi Beach you'll need to rent sun shades for the beach unless you have brought your own. Renting them is possible at the Bondi Beach Pavilion.

Don't be savaged by the sun

It's no fun getting burnt at the beach, and positively dangerous if you get a big dose. If you have the kiddies with you you'll need to be extra careful. In Sydney Australia you can burn quite quickly - in as little as 10 minutes.

So always think Sun Safety when you plan your beach day ... then you won't get caught without sunscreen lotion, the protective clothes and the sunnies.

Are you wondering what's best in sun protective clothing? - especially with the kids in mind. Check out SunSmart for helpful advice, because not all fabric does the job well.

Remember the sun's rays can sometimes "get you" even when you think you're being careful. It can be caused by reflection from water or the sand.

And haven't we all bared our bodies too much on a cloudy day - only to later regret our reddened skin and the pain?

So take care - especially with youngsters

The horrible skin cancer Melanoma is the most common form of life-threatening cancer among Aussies aged 15-24. 

Caused by sun or solarium exposure it is usually lethal if not discovered and surgically removed in time. (Have a look at this Australian Cancer Council poster for warning signs of Melanoma).

Depending on where it is found, the surgery to remove Melanoma can be disfiguring.

It's right up there as a killer of oldies too

I have a six-inch scar on my inner thigh marking where a deep and wide chunk of flesh was removed around a mole that turned cancerous.

Luckily Horst, my GP, was skilled at finding Melanoma and surgeons removed all traces before cancer travelled elsewhere. Thanks Horst!

(I had a keen awareness of Melanoma from perhaps 30 years earlier when sadly it claimed the life of my lovely cousin Jan in New Zealand).

SmartSafe in Victoria has run a very worthwhile campaign to make young people more aware of Melanoma. It's called the Wes Bonny story. A short video traces the tragedy of Wes (a typical outdoors Aussie) who died of the cancer in 2010 at the age of just 26 years.

World's highest rate of skin cancer

That's right, we're No.1 here in Oz! Tops because of our outdoors lifestyle. So one in every two Aussies will get some form of skin cancer during their lifetime.

But those who heed Sun Safety advice can do much to prevent the aggressive Melanoma. They do so by minimising exposure to the sun's damaging ultraviolet radiation (UVR).

So, protect your skin and prevent skin cancer getting a start. This is really important for fair-skinned folk - Aussies and overseas tourists alike - who are more prone to sunburn.

The ugly side of sunbathing ...

... That's premature aging.

If you don't want to get a horrible dried out skin with lots of wrinkles and age spots then don't expose your unprotected body hour after hour.

There are some awful examples of leather-back skin displayed at the beach. Don't be like them!

Other harm from the sun in Sydney Australia can be permanent and sometimes blinding eye damage. That's where wrapping UV protective sunglasses around your eyes is important. Use them and save your sight.

Return to Beach Safety from Sun Safety.

Return to Best Sydney Beaches.

Surviving a rip current

Learn how to survive ... go to our Beach Safety page.