Kiwis' sun smart knowledge slip, slop, slipping away

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Despite having the highest rate of melanoma skin cancer in the world, Kiwis are not heeding the slip, slop, slap message when it comes to sun protection.

New research out of the University of Otago has revealed an alarming proportion of people are neither wearing hats nor seeking shade to protect themselves from the sun.

The study, led by public health researchers Ryan Gage and Professor Louise Signal observed 2635 children and adults in outdoor recreation spaces in the Wellington region between 2014 and 2015, including beaches, playgrounds and outdoor pools.

Mike Kernaghan, CEO of the Cancer Society, said the results from the Wellington study were, unfortunately, unsurprising. 

"Apart from what [we're] doing with programmes like SunSmart Schools, there's little else in the way of sustained, national campaigns. Yet we have the highest rate of melanoma in the world. More people die from skin cancer every year than in road crashes."

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