The National Skin Cancer Prevention Plan aims to increase awareness of how to enjoy the sun safely, supporting people in simple ways to protect their skin to reduce risk of skin cancer. Over 11,000 cases of skin cancer are diagnosed annually. This is twice the number compared to 10 years ago and is projected to more than double again by 2045. Yet most skin cancers could be prevented by protecting skin.

This June Bank Holiday weekend, the HSE’s National Cancer Control Programme, in collaboration with Healthy Ireland and key cross-sectoral partners is launching the SunSmart brand. With more people spending time outside within the 5km limit, exercising locally or enjoying a runaround in the park with the children, it’s important to protect your skin. The campaign aims to support people to be SunSmart by following the 5 S’s which are key behaviours for everyone to protect their skin in the sun.

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Be SunSmart:

Follow the 5 S’s to protect your skin


 Slip on clothing that covers your skin such as long sleeves, collared t-shirts

 Slop on sunscreen on exposed areas, using factor 50+ for children;

 Seek shade - especially if outdoors between 11am and 3pm - and always use a sunshade on a child’s buggy;

 Slap on a wide-brimmed hat;

 Slide on sunglasses to protect your eyes.

As well as the 5 S’s it is important to remember
 In Ireland, the UV radiation levels are high from April to September, even when it is cloudy. Stay safe by limiting time in the sun when UV is strongest, typically between the hours of 11:00am-3:00pm
 Do not deliberately try to get a suntan. Remember tanned skin is damaged skin.
 Avoid getting a sunburn.
 Never use a sunbed

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