Australian Doctor Wants Baseball Caps Banned from Beaches


It's midday, when the sun is at it's most brutal, and there's plenty of skin on show at Surfers Paradise but barely a hat to be seen, let alone a full-brimmed one.

"I wouldn't really wear a full brim hat," said one beach-goer. "They just don't look very good."

They'd probably change their minds if they met Don Jamieson. A lifetime spent outdoors has left him riddled with skin cancers.

He used to wear a cap. It didn't help. He's had more than 40 operations and counting.

"You'd walk into a shopping center, and you'd hear kids say, 'Look at that poor man'," Jamieson said.

This plastic surgeon has seen too many patients like Don. He says extreme measures are needed.

"Hats such as baseball caps, the baggy greens, certainly the lifesaver caps, they should all be banned," Dr. Ian McDougall said.

He says the slip, slop, slap message has failed.

"People come in, and they say 'if only I knew'. I'm afraid they did know, but they didn't know well enough."

Despite the criticism, Cancer Council Qld is standing by the slip, slop slap campaign, arguing that research proves it's working.

"We do know that melanoma rates have reduced and definitely people are more aware," said Cassie O'Brien.

This, perhaps, the strongest message yet:

"You try and just make people do the right thing, or they end up like me, and you don't want that," Jamieson said.

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