UV radiation levels are already rising in Victoria so don't wait until summer to use sun protection.
Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. More than 1700 people die from skin cancer every year – that's more than the national road toll.
The SunSmart UV Alert is based on the UV Index forecast, which predicts how much UV radiation will reach the ground that day. The SunSmart UV Alert times are issued throughout the year by the Bureau of Meteorology when the UV Index is forecast to reach 3 or above.
The general rule of thumb for sun protection is as follows:
In Victoria, from September through to the end of April average UV levels are 3 and above, which is when UV radiation can damage skin and eyes and lead to skin cancer. This is when sun protection is required.
From May to August the UV radiation levels are generally low (1 or 2) in Victoria. Sun protection isn't needed unless you are in alpine areas or near highly reflective surfaces such as snow or water.
So when the UV Index is 3 and above:
1. Slip on sun-protective clothing
2. Slop on SPF30+, broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen – put it on 20 minutes before you go outdoors and every two hours afterwards
3. Slap on a hat – that protects your face, head, neck and ears
4. Seek shade
5. Slide on some sunglasses - make sure they meet Australian Standards