Sun Safety in Nova Scotia
Skin cancer rates have been increasing steadily in Canada over the past 30 years and Nova Scotia has one of the highest rates of melanoma skin cancer in Canada. Overexposure to the sun is the primary environmental cause of skin cancer.
Recent research into the knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of Canadians regarding sun safety has found that:
• 21% of Canadian adults try to get a tan from the sun.
• 49% of young women (ages 16-24) and 28% of young men actively try to get a tan from the sun, while seniors aged 65+ rarely do.
• Among adults, those aged 16-24 not only get the most sun exposure but are also the least likely to protect themselves from the sun.
• Compared to young children, older children (ages 6-12) not only spend more time in the sun but are also less likely to be protected from the sun.
• The risk of sunburn is highest in younger adults (ages 16-44) and older children (ages 6-12).
• Most adults get their worst sunburn while taking part in outdoor recreational activities.
• Over 50% of children also get their worst sunburn while watching or participating in outdoor recreational activities.
Reference: National Sun Survey Highlights Report, July 2008
Cancer Care Nova Scotia has established SunSafe Nova Scotia, a coalition of agencies and individuals working together to reduce the number of skin cancer diagnoses and deaths through prevention and early detection. Together, the SunSafe Nova Scotia members are able to learn from each other, share work and achievements and have a greater impact on the sun safety practices of Nova Scotians.