05 January 2009

Slip, Slop, Slap, n' Wrap


Australia and New Zealand has the highest incidence of melanoma in the world. I kid you not; this was stipulated in the December 2008 edition of Reader's Digest Australia. Melanoma - or skin cancer - is more easily contracted here because of the lower altitudes here and relatively clear atmosphere. None of the good old smog to dampen the sun's rays and clog up your lungs instead. Plus, having that hole in the ozone layer quite near us doesn't help any, either. You can, in fact, get sunburned by just soaking it all up in 15 minutes.

It is especially to protect yourself in these summer months. And New Zealand has a slogan for this: Slip, Slop, Slap n' Wrap. I have seen and heard this catchy slogan a number of times already, and it is a good way to remind ourselves how we can best protect ourselves from harmful UVA and UVB rays.

Slip on a shirt, Slop on sunscreen, Slap on a hat, and Wrap on a pair of sunglasses. I learned from Wikipedia that this was actually a slogan from a health campaign in Australia and it started with the 3S's; the wrap part was added later on. Quite catchy, eh?

I actually learned about the harsh realities of sunburn the hard way. We went to the beach last New Year's Day. Though I had my Indiana Jones hat and shades on, I settled for a sleeveless shirt and swimming shorts. My wife was regularly applying sunblock on me because our picnic table was under the full glare of the sun. But we forgot to do so later on and I was mildly burned on my right shoulder and knees. Good thing we were more attentive to Jo-Lo.

Sunburn can also be a problem in the Philippines where going to the beach as well as trekking are also popular. So we can also learn from the Slip, Slop, Slap n' Wrap campaign.

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