Jingle sounds sun alarm at Australian beaches

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Australian health officials have devised a novel way to warn beachgoers of the dangers of the sun -- play a jingle to remind them to apply sunscreen.

(AFP) -

Australian health officials have devised a novel way to warn beachgoers of the dangers of the sun - play a jingle to remind them to apply sunscreen.

As Australians embark on what promises to be another extremely hot summer, the Cancer Council of New South Wales Sunday introduced the five-second musical ditty to convince people to abandon tanning and wear skin protection.

It is to be played at beaches in Cronulla in Sydney's south and Gosford to the north at regular intervals during the day this summer in a bid to cut down on dangerous sun exposure by young people.

"Although most teenagers know the importance of protecting their skin, it's easy to forget when out and about having fun," the council's skin cancer prevention expert Sofia Khayech said.

Melanoma is the most common form of cancer in people aged 15-44 in Australia, which has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world.

Khayech said the melody, to be broadcast over loudspeakers usually used to warn surfers of sharks, was designed to be a "friendly reminder" to sun lovers to apply sunscreen, wear a hat and sunglasses and keep in the shade in the hottest part of the day.

"Many people don't realise sun damage in the first 15 years of life greatly increases the risk of skin cancer in later life," she said.

Officials hope to expand the warning to other beaches if the scheme is successful.

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