Life at No.22, New Zealand

Are you SunSmart?

Most of you will be familiar with the Sun Smart jingle Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap.

Would you believe that most people ignore it? 

It seems that us Kiwis’ slip, slop, slap and wrap knowledge is slipping away.

Every year ninety-thousand people are diagnosed, and five hundred die of skin cancer.

New Zealand has the highest skin cancer rate in the world. 

We even beat the Aussies again, this battle is one where I had hoped we would be the loser!

Why am I on my “mythical” high horse?

Years ago I was one of those, shall we say, misinformed people who sat around too long under those damaging UV rays.  In November I paid the price for that stupidity, as I have had to endure the painful after-effects of a hand operation to remove a large squamous cell carcinoma.  Though that bit of information is not the main focus of this post.  The most important point is to make more people aware to get regular checkups.

The surgeon who operated on my hand has quite a few new patients and even more that are repeats.  It would seem for many having a scalpel to dig out a lump of cancer is no deterrent or a big deal.  For me, I was stunned to learn how many of his clients are still returning to the great outdoors without sun protection after surgery, then revisiting the Skin Clinic for a quick fix of that damaged skin. Quite understandably this attitude clearly incensed the medical staff.

Does vanity overrule common sense?

The belief it happens to someone else?

“It’s what my friends and I do every summer.”

Well, time to change that narrative and be a life saver.

Not a surf lifesaver.

A lifesaver of skin from cancer.

Who knows it could prove to be quite a trendsetter.

Not entirely convinced of protecting yourself from sunburn?

Go and sit in the reception of a skin clinic you might be surprised how many of your sun-loving friends are frequent visitors.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s only an old people’s problem.  It is not.

This summer all you visitors and locals, please get into the rhymic movements of;

Slipping on a shirt, find some shade

Slopping on some sunscreen

Slapping on a hat

Wrapping around sunglasses

And most of all I wish you all

A Stunning Sunny Summer during 2018/19.

Check out these links for ways to be a wise SunSmart sunshine lover;



Sun Tips

A Skin Cancer Survivor

21 thoughts on “Are you SunSmart?”

  1. Very timely post, Sue. Our sun worshipping days are coming back to haunt a lot of us now. I had a chunk removed from an ear a couple of years ago. I cover up a lot more now but I suspect the damage was done 40 years ago. I hope your recovery is swift.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Suzanne, this is such an important topic and yet most of us still don’t get the message. Despite the media messages, I recently heard on the news that teenagers and young adults still yearn for a tan and think it is ‘cool’ despite the warnings of sun damage. The kindy where my grandson attends, has a sunscreen station at the gate in case parents have forgotten to apply it at home. There is also a sign ‘No Hat, No Play’. It is a message that can’t start soon enough. I hope your hand is on the mend and no further problems arise. Have a great week. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sue, years ago when walking our nephew to school in Brisbane, there was that rule, “no hat no play”. I thought why doesn’t NZ do that. Having spent years being a kindy teacher the children were all encouraged to wear hats, funnily enough the teachers were not. That may have changed, I hope so. Have a great week too.


  3. So glad you are recovering Suzanne. I was very silly in my younger days with the sun, but am the total opposite now – super careful. I’ve not heard that Jingle, it’s a good one. We had a great sunny summer, but we certainly know Winter is on its way now – Brrr! Great post, the sun is to be respected for sure

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sam, I’m one if the lucky ones! By the way, I could tell you have looked after your skin when we met.
      The jingle is a NZ inspired one when the Cancer Society was trying to promote more awareness of how damaging the sun is down here.
      Even though it’s winter in the UK/Europe I miss our second home 😊 🌻

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m glad your hand is recovering. Skin cancer is an increasing problem in the Northern Hemisphere as well. I spent most of this summer indoors and kept to the shade as much as possible if I did go out. The sunscreen got a lot of use as well.

    Liked by 1 person

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