New UV-monitoring app aims to keep Kiwis safer in the sun this summer

A new app is aiming to help Kiwis make safer sun choices as summer approaches, along with higher UV levels.

Summer (file picture). Source: 1 NEWS

UVNZ tells users how high UV levels are across the country and gives sun-worshippers an idea of when they should do things outdoors.

Users can identify their skin type and they will be told when the safest time in the sun is for their particular skin type.

“It gives people the ability to change their behaviour to know when it’s safest to go in the sun,” said Richard McKenzie, co-creator of the app.

Source: UVNZ

The app tells the peak UV daily dose, and when users have exceeded that. 

“Your body has no sense to measure UV - the only thing that tells you is that you're sunburnt," Mr McKenzie said. 

“Normally, people would just guess when UV levels are highest.

“UV rates are highest around Christmas and New Year and that’s when people aren’t taking enough care."

UV damage is not proportional to temperature or sun brightness.

“There is a misconception that when it’s overcast, you’re less likely to get burnt. However, the days when UV levels don't reach three, you can still get burnt.”

New Zealand and Australia have the highest rates of skin cancer in the world.

The app is created in consultation with NIWA, with support from the Cancer Society.

The app can be downloaded here.