Spring is here and with every region across Australia, it is likely to reach high levels of UV over the spring months. Over-exposure to UV radiation causes 95% of melanomas. We encourage Australians to check the UV before you head outside, on the SunSmart app, via the Bureau of Meteorology’s website or your local weather forecast.
The UV Index is a tool you can use to protect yourself from UV radiation. It tells you the times during the day that you need to be SunSmart.
The UV Index divides UV radiation levels into:
- low (1-2)
- moderate (3-5)
- high (6-7)
- very high (8-10)
- extreme (11 and above).
Look or listen for the UV Index when you are:
- planning or participating in an outdoor activity or event
- undertaking recreational activities such as running, swimming, cycling or team sports
- watching a spectator sport, such as tennis or cricket
- working outdoors, or have responsibility for outdoor workers, or
- responsible for young children and their outdoor activities.
How do I get the UV Index?
The Index is reported in the weather page of all Australian daily newspapers, on the Bureau of Meteorology website, and on some radio and mobile weather forecasts. You can also find UV Alerts on the ARPANSA website.
For smartphone users, the free SunSmart app is a great way to check the UV Index when you are out and about. iPhone users can download it at the iTunes App Store and Android users at the Google Play store.
So whether you are at work, home or on the move, you can easily and quickly check the times of the day when sun protection is needed.
UV Index widget
There is a huge variation in UV levels across Australia. The UV level is affected by a number of factors including the time of day, time of year, cloud cover, altitude, proximity to the equator, scattering and reflection.
Take away the guesswork by adding the free SunSmart widget to your website. The widget shows the sun protection times for your location in Australia, making it easier than ever to be smart about your sun exposure all year.
You can also check the Index for cities and towns across Australia.
- Slip on sun protective clothing that covers as much skin as possible.
- Slop on broad spectrum, water resistant SPF30 (or higher) sunscreen. Apply 20 minutes before going outdoors and every two hours afterwards.
- Slap on a hat – broad brim or legionnaire style to protect your face, head, neck and ears.
- Seek shade.
- Slide on sunglasses – make sure they meet Australian Standards.
Research shows that many Australians, particularly men, aren’t regularly using all five forms of sun protection. This year, Cancer Council Australia in partnership with the Australasian College of Dermatologists, is urging all Australians, especially men aged over 40, to be SunSmart and reduce their risk of developing skin cancer.