Could a UV wristband help prevent sunburn?

As 18,000 school leavers hit the Gold Coast to celebrate the end of school and exams we have come up with a clever way to reach these school leavers – a silicon UV-reactive slider that is included on the official Safer Schoolies wristband that indicates when their skin has had enough sun.

Just a couple of sunburns can leave the skin vulnerable to skin cancer, and its most deadly form, melanoma.

School leavers on the Gold Coast this year will receive a free silicon UV-reactive slider on their wristband. The UV-reactive slider changes colour with sun exposure indicating when to re-apply sunscreen or find some shade to avoid sunburn.

We invited over 650 school leavers to take part in the study to find out if the UV-reactive slider encourages and reminds them to take sun protection measures. Those who take part in the study receive a free sunscreen and 1 week later complete an evaluation survey to assess their self-reported sun protection habits, sunburn and sunscreen use.

The UV slider study is another research project conducted by Dr Elke Hacker from QUT, which explores strategies to encourage people to be sun safe. Dr Hackers’ previous research includes testing the use of UV stickers at outdoor eventsUV-detecting wearables, and smartphone apps.

Dr Hacker and her research team are working with the Safer Schoolies Initiative through the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women, and Queensland Health. This study has been approved by the Queensland University of Technology’s Human Research Ethics Committee (approval number 1900000435).

Any questions about the study please contact chief investigator Dr Elke Hacker at