My favourite place to picnic with my young family is Elliott Heads.

We ride our bikes along the esplanade and find a shady spot under a tree, overlooking the mouth of the river.

Sometimes we take a packed lunch and other times we enjoy fish and chips.

Bundaberg’s fantastic weather and laid back outdoor lifestyle is one of the reasons my wife and I have chosen to raise our young family here.

But the trade-off for a moderate climate is needing to be sun smart year-round.

Just because you don’t feel hot, doesn’t mean you aren’t getting sunburnt.

The Cancer Council of Australia recommends sun protection when the UV (ultra violet) index is above three.

To put this in perspective, research shows the UV index in Sydney and Melbourne rarely “The trade-off for a moderate climate is needing to be sunsmart all year-round.” exceeds three in Winter. In Queensland the index is higher than three for most of the day and reaches a peak of about 6.5.

Depending on your skin type, it can takeas little as 20 minutes for your skin to burn at a UV index of six.

Regardless of the season or time of the day, my family apply sunscreen and wear their hats.

We always have a shade tent in the back of the car at the ready. The more protective clothing you wear, the less sunscreen you need to apply.

One of the benefits of ensuring your children are sun smart year-round is that you’ll be helping them build lifelong habits that reduce their risk of developing skin cancer later in life.

The Cancer Council’s Sun Smart app is a great resource to check the UV index and get further advice.

Dr Charles Blair (BAppSc, BMBS, FACRM) is the owner of Kaleidoscope Skin Cancer Clinic, opening in Bundaberg South in October 2020.
Find out more or register your interest at www.kaleidoscopeskinclinicl.com.au