My poor nephews. Their aunty works for SunSmart. Do you know what that means? They wear hats!

We had an aunty-nephew bonding session last weekend. The weather wasn’t great but we decided to cycle by the Yarra and have some afternoon tea along the way. When your aunty works at SunSmart you know that the bike helmet is going to be swapped for a sun hat at some stage.

After a great ride, we picked our afternoon tea spot and that’s when the fun began.

  1. Park bike.
  2. Take off bike helmet.
  3. Put on bucket hat.
  4. Reapply SPF 30+ sunscreen.
  5. Find a nice, shady spot
  6. Eat the yummy raspberry muesli slice their mum (my sister) made and slurp water from water bottles.
  7. Feel like a goofball as we seem to be the only ones worrying about sun protection on a cool, cloudy day in Melbourne.

Hmm! If nothing else, I’m teaching my nephews resilience and how to stand alone. The amazing thing is they love me enough to join me in my quest to protect our skin. We’re all in this together.

My nephews know that some sun is good for vitamin D to help their bones, muscles and general health. They also know that too much sun can damage their skin and eyes. Rather than be scared and paranoid about the sun, they are encouraged to get outdoors and be active all year round but to use sun protection at certain times.

They have seen the SunSmart UV Alert and know it indicates when you do (and don’t) need sun protection for the day. No negotiations necessary. They know how to find the UV Alert in the weather section of the newspaper or at but prefer checking my SunSmart UV Alert smart phone app before we head out.

During the sun protection times, we use the 5 SunSmart steps.

  1. Slip on covering clothing
  2. Slop on SPF 30+ broad spectrum sunscreen
  3. Slap on a hat that protects the face, neck and ears
  4. Seek shade
  5. Slide on some sunglasses (labelled AS 1067) if practical.

I am so proud of my nephews and the wonderful people they already are. I’m also grateful I can play a part in their future health and make sure they don’t go down the same skin cancer riddled path of my grandmother. We know much more now so can do much better than previous generations.

Two in three Australians getting some form of skin cancer before the age of 70 is not a statistic I want my nephews to participate in.

What are you doing to help you and your children beat the odds? It’s never too late to start protecting your skin.

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