CORNER BROOK A walk through Margaret Bowater Park on a hot, sunny afternoon reveals pretty routine responses from people about sun safety.
When asked, a large portion of people mention sunscreen as their number one protector against the sun's ultraviolet rays.
However, there second reaction is that sunscreen is an after thought, especially among teenagers.
Kayla Park, 15, goes to the park with her sister, Danica, 13, almost every day, as midday temperatures stay above 20 C.
The girls are not overly worried about applying sunscreen or getting sunburned.
"Some people don't burn," said Danica, who has dark hair and complexion. She said she is looking to tan while out in the sun.
Kayla, a fairer skin type than her sister, says sometimes she puts sunscreen on her shoulders or face, but that is about the extent of the coverage.
When the girls plan to hang out with friends during their summer holidays, packing sunscreen in their bag is on the bottom of the list.
"I don't need it," said their 12 year-old friend Jasmine Jesso. "No one really uses (sunscreen)."
The Canadian Cancer Society suggest using at least SPF 15 sunscreen, as UV rays can come through clouds, and their damage can be amplified by reflection off water and sand.
It is UV rays that cause cancer by creating changes in the skin's cells, states Health Canada.
The risk of skin cancer is higher for people who have light-coloured skin, eyes and hair; those who work or play in the sun for long periods of time; those who had several blistering sunburns as a child; and those who take drugs that make them more sensitive to UV light, said the society.
Around the park, a selection of people say they are wearing sunscreen. And others said they aren't wearing it, because they don't plan on staying outside for long.
When five year-old Ethan Way goes to the park with his family, his mom takes the opportunity to teaching him the importance of sun safety.
Sherry Way covers her son in SPF 60 every time they leave the house, and will reapply every few hours.
Ethan says sometimes the sunscreen is sticky and gets in his eyes, but he wears it because it means he can play outside for longer.
"If you get burnt," he said in a serious tone. "You have to go to the hospital."
It seems that wearing sunscreen is something Ethan plans to do for a long time.
"(Putting on sunscreen) is important to do," he said. "Because when I have kids, I'll put it on them! You get it?"
Upon researching sunscreen, and consulting pharmacists, his mom chooses to use Ombrelle unscented sunscreen.
Some sunscreens with sents have traces of nut oils, she said, that are not safe for kids with allergies.
Way said her daily facial moisturizer has SPF 30 included, but sometimes her own sun protection stops there.
She admits she is more vigilant about applying sunscreen to her kids than herself.
"I didn't put any on today. I might as well tell you the truth," she said. "I'm more cautious about my kids than myself."
Health Canada states that most types of skin cancers are preventable by being proactive in the sun: using sunscreen, covering up with clothing, and limiting exposure to UV rays.
As your body's largest organ, damage to the skin is not always able to be repaired, which causes skin cancer. The society estimates that 45 men and 35 women will be diagnosed with Melanoma (skin cancer) in Newfoundland and Labrador this year, with 10 men and 5 women dying from it.