Slip-Slop-Slap is the name for a health
campaign in Australia
exhorting people to "slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen
, and slap on a hat" when they go out into the sun in order to prevent skin cancer
. It is probably Australia's most recognizable health message.
The campaign started in 1981 and its mascot is a seagull called Sid.
The health campaign was extended in later years to encourage the use of sunglasses. That is, slip on a shirt, slop on the sunscreen, slap on a hat and wrap on some sunnies: "Slip, Slop, Slap, Wrap". By this stage however the skin cancer aware message of the campaign had successfully been absorbed into the Australian psyche and "slip, slop slap, wrap" was neither as memorable or as necessary as its precursor.
It is also used in New Zealand, where the mascot is a lobster, voiced by Ants from What Now. Some Canadian cities have also started their own Slip-Slop-Slap campaigns.
Effect on cancer rates
Since this campaign was introduced along with advertisements and a jingle
, the incidence of the two most common forms of skin cancer (basal-cell carcinoma
and squamous cell carcinoma
) in Australia has decreased. However the incidence of melanoma
- the most lethal form of skin cancer - has increased.