Did you notice it’s been really, really hot and sunny outside lately?
When walking outside combines the sensations of opening an oven door and being slapped across the face, it’s not surprising that we have one of the world’s highest rates of skin cancer. According to The Cancer Council, between 95% and 99% of skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun. However, before you resign yourself to the indoor life, forever kissing goodbye summer barbecues and beach days, we’ve heard of a solution that doesn’t ruin your fun.
New research by QUT, Cancer Council Queensland and University of Queensland suggests that something as simple as sending a text could prevent skin cancer. Their 12-month trial, targeted at people aged between 18 and 42, found that SMS was a flexible and effective communication channel for sunsmart awareness campaigns.
Within the study, text messages were sent to promote sun protection. Messages reminded recipients to wear sunscreen and limit their time in the sun between 10am and 4pm. Messages were also sent to encourage early detection by checking their skin for early signs.
The results from the trial were really outstanding, sun protection habits and self-examination dramatically improved. The proportion of people that began self-examining had increased from 37% to 63%.
When promoting healthy sunsmart behaviour is as easy as this, why wouldn’t more organisations use SMS to remind Aussies how to enjoy themselves safely this summer?