Sunscreen: Spread it thicker

RESEARCH has revealed most Queensland children do not apply enough sunscreen to protect themselves before they go outside to play.

The results of a Queensland University of Technology study suggests children must increase their sun protection in order to reduce their risk of sunburn and skin cancer.

Abbey Diaz, from the QUT AusSun Research Laboratory, said children were applying on average only a quarter of the amount of SPF 30+ sunscreen recommended by manufacturers.

"The SPF (sun protection factor) of sunscreen depends on the thickness of application so if it is applied too thinly the skin will have substantially lower SPF than one might expect," Ms Diaz said.

"This is concerning because sun exposure during childhood has been found to be an important risk factor for future skin cancer," Ms Diaz said.

Ms Diaz said experts estimated regular sunscreen use during early life could reduce one's skin cancer risk by up to 80%.

The survey also revealed children dispensed the most sunscreen from a pump bottle, and applied the least sunscreen when using a roll-on dispenser.

Ms Diaz reminded parents to set a sun-safe example for their children, and to re-apply sunscreen every two hours.



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