The end of the year is finally approaching, and that means that the weather has gotten warmer and the days have gotten longer.

Summer has always been my favourite season. It means no school, lots of time spent outside and with your friends and family. However, there is one thing to be wary of in the scorching season; sunburn.

Sunburn is a burn to the skin which is due to excess exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. These UV rays are at their peak in summer between the times of 10 am-4 pm in New Zealand. It’s important to take extra care during this period to avoid getting burnt.

The darker your complexion is naturally, the more melanin you have to protect your skin from the UV rays. But we are all at risk of sunburn. People who have very fair complexions can get burnt in just 15 minutes.

A few years ago this sun safety (see below) went viral. It documents people’s skin through a UV camera to reveal the damage from the sun and the difference if you wear sunblock- it’s pretty interesting, you should check it out!

Not only can sunburn be painful and a bit embarrassing but it can lead to long term health implications. I’m sure your mum will have warned you already, but even mild sunburn can be bad for your skin and increase your risk of skin cancer.

In the summer, New Zealand is situated close to the hole in the O-zone layer. The Ozone is a layer in the atmosphere that absorbs UV rays, acting as the Earth’s natural sunscreen. This hole means that the sun UV rays are harshest in New Zealand compared to anywhere else in the world.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in New Zealand. Approximately 500 New Zealanders die of skin cancer every year and it is largely preventable. This is because over 90% of all cases are due to excess sun exposure. So it’s extremely important to be sun-safe.

You might remember the old saying- slip, slop, slap, and wrap. Well, being sun-safe means covering up with clothing, a high SPF sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses.

How do you stay sun-safe in the summertime? And what did you think of the video I mentioned?

Let me know in the comments below!

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