A survey released this morning has revealed one-in-five Queenslanders have had their worst sunburn experience before the age of 10.

Experts say over exposure to UV light during childhood and adolescence is a major cause of skin cancer.

Phoebe Parsons reports.

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Australian cricket great and SunWise ambassador Adam Gilchrist knows more than most the importance of protecting your skin against harmful UV rays.

Adam Gilchrist, SunWise ambassador: “Having had the good fortune of being in a professional sporting career I can relate to it. We have skin checks religiously every year to make sure that we weren’t suffering any potential damage down the track.”

The SunWise program aims to educate young Australians on the dangers of sun exposure.

The program has helped raise more than a million dollars towards skin cancer research at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research.

Kids at the Kenmore Junior Rugby Club also picking up some tips on skin cancer awareness.

Tim Bucket, Suncorp Bank Excecutive General Manager: “Ninety-five per cent of skin cancer is preventable so there is something we can do about it and our view is that prevention is the best medicine.”

Gilchrist says he is passionate about spreading the SunWise message across the country, especially to children.

He says the most important thing to remember when exposed to the sun this summer is to cover up and reapply sunscreen as often as possible.

Adam Gilchrist, SunWise ambassador: “Cover up, get a hat on, sunscreen, shirt at all times and enjoy the lifestyle but just be wise about it.”

Around 236 Queenslanders are killed each year by melanoma. Experts say overcast skies and rain are no protection.

Phoebe Parsons, QUT News.