The Australian sun is harsh and can be a shock to many people when they first arrive in the country. Many will make the mistake of heading out for a day in the sun without protecting themselves and then find themselves rocking a nice shade of tomato later that night. It is very important to practice sun safe habits whenever you are going outside, particularly during the middle of the day. Australia has one of the highest skin cancer rates in the world, with one of the main causes being large amounts of exposure to UV light, making it preventable.
The key things to remember when you are going out in the sun is to “slip, slop, slap, seek, slide”. This means
- Slip on long sleeved clothing (choosing light coloured clothing will keep you cooler)
- Slop on sunscreen with a minimum of SPF30 20 minutes before sun exposure and reapply every two hours
- Slap on a hat with a broad rim
- Seek shade whenever possible
- Slide on a pair of sunglasses
You also need to be aware of the risk of heat stroke which can occur if you are out in the heat for even just a short period of time. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water (at least 2L each day), choose light coloured clothing, and stay out of the direct sunlight whenever possible.
It is very important to keep an eye on your skin and take note of changes in any spots you have as well as getting your skin checked regularly at a skin clinic or by a doctor.
If you do get sunburn, make sure you drink plenty of water. A cool compress, or bath can help to cool down your skin. If you skin starts to blister or you start feeling nauseous, go and see a doctor immediately.
There is plenty of fun to be had in the Australian sun, as long as you stay protected! Make sure you apply for your free Australian visa eligibility test so you can come over and experience the best a sunny day in Australia has to offer!