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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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Ramona on Jan 21, 2012 at 07:51 PM
    So no cap is better than one that provides little protection? When do we realize that WE are responsible for our health choices and those should not be legislated??!!
  • by Alicia Location: Cottondale on Jan 19, 2012 at 05:38 PM
    Why can't people leave people alone about what they want to wear. If someone wants to wear a baseball cap on the beach they should be able to do it. If they wanted to wear a fur coat on the beach it's their choice. Why do some people think they got a right to try to control what kind of clothes people wear. If you want to go naked on the beach, I don't care.What you do as long as you are not hindering me in some way should be find and dandy. The world is on it's way to hell anyway so what you do is up to you.
  • by Jana Location: Tuscaloosa, AL on Jan 19, 2012 at 02:58 PM
    Ummm, okay. He want BASEBALL caps BANNED from the beaches, because they dont offer enough suncreen, or as much as a wide brimmed hat. Well, what about those of us who dont wear a hat at all? Is beach hat actually going to be MANDATORY? Isnt it up to US what we expose ourselves to? Is there actually going to be a hat patrol that walks around all the beaches from sunup to dark to FORCE people to wear a wide brimmed hat? How could you BAN a certain kind of hat for that reason? Seems like banning folks from laying around over half naked on the beach would be much more productive! If its the skin exposure to the deadly sun you are trying to regulate, seems like the folks who are tanned to the point of looking like leather should be your 1st priority- not those wearing the wrong HAT! A little baseball cap is SOME hat, better than NO hat at all. I NEVER wear hats at all. Unless the beach patrol is going to go BUY all of the mandatory hats for everyone who frequents the beach, I say whatever!
  • by Anonymous on Jan 19, 2012 at 09:58 AM
    He doesn't have to ware a baseball cap if he doesn't want to,the choice is his and mine is mine.
  • by Annon Location: Dothan on Jan 19, 2012 at 08:43 AM
    And that suggestion is just pure stupidity! Ban the caps and kids think "if you wear a cap you get skin cancer" so they don't wear anything.
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