Despite being well travelled, Danes seem yet unaware of the dangerous effects of ultraviolet rays in skin. For this reason, and as one of the Danes´ favorite holiday destination is Spain, the Danish authorities have launched a video in which they ask Spaniards to be aware of getting burnt.

Geographical differences

Spain´s geographical situation makes the ultraviolet rays hit more aggressively and, in consequence, the authorities, along with the media and the Public Health Care system and centres, launch a campaign every year to educate the population to prevent the dangerous effects that the sun (or being exposed to it for many hours) has on the skin.

Most especially the danger is to people with very light skin tones, but old people and small children are in the most vulnerable groups of people affected by it.

Skin cancer awareness

Being that skin cancer is one of the most frequent causes of death every year, authorities recommend the population use a high suncream factor, use hats and other thin clothes to prevent the skin from getting direct exposition to the sun, Sunglasses, as well as drinking a lot of water will keep people well hydrated. They are invited to stay indoors while the sun is stronger (from midday to around 4pm).

Death's rates per country linked to this illness

Although the tone of the campaign (which has also been forwarded to other countries like France or Greece, where Danes go on holiday mainly due to the nice weather) is funny and kind of comical, this topic is actually far from being funny.

Shall we mention that, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, there were 100 339 people with skin cancer in 2012, and 22 199 people died due to the illness in the same period?

The 10 higher rates correspond to:

  • Norway (5.1 of every 100 000 people)
  • Slovenia (4.4/100 000)
  • Sweden (4)

Netherlands (3.9/100 000)

  • Iceland (3.6/100 000)
  • Switzerland (3.5)
  • Croatia (3.3)
  • Denmark (3)
  • Slovakia (3/100 000)
  • Estonia (3 of every 100 000 people)

On the other side, the rates in countries like Cyprus (1.2), Spain (1.5), Portugal (1.4) or Greece (1.3) are considerably lower.

Preventions and consequences

As everything in life, the decision to not using accurate protection against the harmful effects of the sun has its consequences. Because of this, the authorities should not only ask the citizens in other countries for help but also inform their co-nationals of how dangerous the sun can be in the long-term and to avoid spending as many hours as possible in the sun.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Southern Europe may have better weather, and yes, we want you to come on holiday and to spend all your money, but if you don´t take care of yourselves, don´t expect others to.