Wild Cattle Creek, near Tannum Sands Main Beach.   Photo Tegan Annett  / The Observer
Wild Cattle Creek, near Tannum Sands Main Beach. Photo Tegan Annett / The Observer Tegan Annett

Gladstone urged to slip, slop and slap this long weekend

GLADSTONE residents are urged to be sunsafe this long weekend, with the latest statistics showing a shocking rate of sunburn in Central Queensland.

Last year, 97,000 adults in the region were diagnosed with sunburn, which is close to 60 percent of the population within the Queensland Health service area.

It is one of the highest rates of sunburn in the state. In addition, around 150 people are diagnosed with melanoma each year in the region.

Overall, around 2.1 million Queensland adults and 394,000 kids get sunburnt every year.

One in 12 Queenslanders will be diagnosed with melanoma by the age of 85.

Cancer Council Queensland chief executive officer Chris McMillan said despite cooling temperatures, ultra violet radiation will still remain a factor.

"It is important for us to reinforce the message that it's ultraviolet radiation that is the major cause of skin cancer - and that UV can't be seen or felt,” Ms McMillan said.

"Whenever the UV Index is three or above, Queenslanders need to take sun safety seriously and follow our five recommended sun protective behaviours, even on cloudy or cool days.”

Ms McMillan recommends people continue to wear a broad-brimmed hat, apply minimum SPF30 broad-spectrum water-resistant sunscreen and to wear wrap-around sunglasses.

"It's also imperative that we all continue to seek shade where possible too, as it's one of the most effective ways to reduce UV exposure,” she said.

Ms McMillan also encouraged Queenslanders to download the SunSmart app to monitor UV levels on their phone during the cooler months.

"A sun protection alert with daily reminders can be set up for users and the app is free to download on tablets or smartphones,” she said.

More information about sun safety is available at cancerqld.org.au or call 13 11 20.