SOURCE: Canadian Dermatology Association

Canadian Dermatology Association

June 05, 2015 07:00 ET

Take the Sun Safety Challenge

OTTAWA, ON--(Marketwired - June 05, 2015) - The Canadian Dermatology Association (CDA) is challenging outdoor enthusiasts to test their sun safety skills for Sun Awareness Week. Before heading out on your run or getting on the golf course -- or whatever you do -- see how prepared you are to take on the summer sun.

"Outdoor enthusiasts know how good it feels physically and mentally to get out there," said Dr. Jennifer Beecker, Chair of the CDA Sun Awareness Advisory Board. "But if you're not taking precautions against the sun, then you could actually be harming your health."

Think of this quiz as a sports clinic -- you don't pass or fail, you just get better. Once you've identified your weaknesses, get serious about addressing them. Then check back on your answers from time to time to see how you are doing. This will help establish sun safety as a habit, and before you know it, you'll be a sun safety pro.

Ready? On your mark, get set, go!

Select true or false for each of the following. Give yourself one point for each answer you get right.

  1. You don't need to put on sunscreen when it is overcast.
  2. Water-resistant sunscreens can wash off with sweat, rain or swimming.
  3. The CDA recommends an SPF rating of at least 30.
  4. Skin cancer is the second-most common cancer diagnosed in Canadians.
  5. Skin cancer rates are on the decline.
  6. The intensity of UV radiation is stronger at the top of a mountain than at the bottom.
  7. Trees can help provide protection from UV radiation.
  8. UV radiation is at its most intense between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  9. It's good to put sunscreen on your scalp if your hair is thinning.
  10. If you've got a tan or your skin is naturally dark toned, you don't need to wear sunscreen.

Answers: 1 false, UV radiation will go through clouds; 2 true, they are a good choice but still need to be reapplied; 3 true; 4 false, skin cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Canadians; 5 false, skin cancer rates are increasing; 6 true, every increase in altitude of 300 metres increases UV levels by 4 per cent; 7 true, pick shady locations whenever possible; 8 true; 9 true, skin cancer can form on your scalp; 10 false, while light-skinned people are at higher risk, anyone can get skin cancer.


Give yourself three points for each time you answer yes.

  1. I am consistent about putting on sunscreen before going out into the sun.
  2. I reapply sunscreen frequently, especially when I am sweating or going into water.
  3. I use sunscreen even when it's overcast.
  4. I apply sunscreen to all exposed skin -- ears, legs, toes etc.
  5. I think about how well I will be covered when choosing activewear.
  6. I normally wear a hat when I'm going out into the sun.
  7. I usually opt for shade over sun when I have a choice.
  8. I regularly check my skin for new spots or changes.
  9. I sometimes ask someone to check my back to see if there is anything unusual on my skin.
  10. I don't sunbathe.

The moment of truth

Perfect 40: You're a sun safety ambassador. Help your friends and family raise their game.

30-39: You're sun safety program just needs a bit some work. Start filling those gaps and try this test again in a week.

Under 30: You're not as safe as you could be, but don't despair. Now that you are equipped with the knowledge you need, start building good habits today and reducing long-term damage to your skin. Try this test again in a week.

Sun Awareness Week
The Canadian Dermatology Association has organized a nation-wide Sun Awareness Week in early summer since 1989. The aim is to educate Canadians about the dangers of too much sun and to help stop the rising incidence of skin cancer in Canada.

This year's Sun Awareness Week goes from Monday, June 1 to Sunday, June 7, and involves a number of events and activities across Canada, including free skin screenings, community events, and school visits by dermatologists.

About the CDA
The Canadian Dermatology Association, founded in 1925, represents Canadian dermatologists. The association provides easy access to the largest, most reliable source of medical knowledge on dermatology. CDA exists to advance the science and art of medicine and surgery related to the care of the skin, hair and nails; provide continuing professional development for its members; support and advance patient care; provide public education on sun protection and other aspects of skin health; and promote a lifetime of healthier skin, hair and nails. By doing so, CDA informs and empowers both medical professionals and the Canadian public.

To learn more about what the work CDA does visit or join the conversation on or

Contact Information

  • For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
    Jennifer Scott
    Director, Communications
    Office: 613-738-1748 x 222
    Cell: 613-716-2098