Australian adolescents are developing healthier attitudes towards tanning but there is still room for improvement, according to the findings of the Cancer Council’s National Sun Protection Survey.
Research shows 38% of young Australians (aged 12-17 years) like to get a sun tan compared to 60% ten years ago.
Professor Ian Olver, Cancer Council Australia CEO, said the results were encouraging and that most teens no longer viewed the bronzed Aussie as something to aspire to.
However, the survey also showed teens were still not doing enough to protect themselves from the sun.
Almost one in fie (23%) of adolescents are still sunburnt on summer weekends, a figure which shows no significant change since 2003-04.
Cancer Council Australia and the Australasian College of Dermatologists are using National Skin Cancer Action Week (November 16-22) to remind young Australians that they aren’t invincible, and that proper sun protection and skin awareness can be a lifesaver when it comes to skin cancer.
Professor Olver said that although two in three Australians would be diagnosed with skin cancer by age 70, adolescents underestimated their skin cancer risk, with one in two rating their chances of developing skin cancer as low.
“It’s wonderful to see teens understanding that a tan isn’t the hallmark of health it was once made out to be,” he said.
“However, while most don’t actively seek a tan, we do want them to actively protect themselves.”
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