The sun is shining, thousands are soaking up the rays at Raggamuffin, the kids are heading back to school this week and next, and summer seems hotter now than at any time in the past two months.

All good reasons you should read our stories about skin cancer today.

The phrase "Slip, Slop, Slap" has long been a part of our vernacular, but how many of us take its message as seriously as we should?

Melanoma and skin cancer rates are rising, the latest figures the highest in the past six years.


The Cancer Society says skin cancer is by far the most common cancer affecting New Zealanders, amounting to about 80 per cent of all new cancer cases each year.

New Zealand has among the highest melanoma rates in the world, and it's the No 1 cancer among males aged 25 to 44.

It's clear we could be doing more to protect ourselves and our children.

But it's great to see local schools jumping at the chance to promote the sun-smart message.

Hopefully kids will carry that message right through their schooling and into young adulthood, when other priorities, like a good tan, tend to pop up.

We live in an outdoors paradise, and need to remember that even when it's a bit chilly the UV levels are still high.

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1 Feb, 2014 9:00am
2 minutes to read

So slip on sun protective clothing, slop on that sunscreen, slap on a hat and wrap on your sunglasses, and enjoy the rest of your summer safely.