As the UK welcomes the summer season, families across the country are eager to make the most of the sunny days. However, it’s crucial to remember that while the sun brings warmth and light, it also brings risks. Here’s a guide to help parents ensure their families stay safe in the sun.
Clothing is Key
Clothing should always be your first line of defence against damage from the sun. Opt for loose, light-coloured clothing that covers as much of the skin as possible. Don’t forget a wide-brimmed hat to protect the face, neck, and ears.
Sunscreen is Essential
Make sure you apply sunscreen every morning before heading outside. This gives the sunscreen time to soak into your skin so it will provide effective protection. Choose a sunscreen with a high SPF (at least 30) and ensure it offers broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Remember to reapply every two hours and after swimming or sweating.
Seek the Shade
The sun’s rays are strongest between 11 am and 3 pm, so try to stay in the shade during these hours. If shade is not available, create your own with a sun umbrella or pop-up tent.
Protect Your Eyes
Sunglasses are more than just a fashion accessory; they protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. When choosing sunglasses, look for ones that block out 99 to 100% of both UVA and UVB radiation.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
The heat can cause you to sweat and lose fluids quickly, leading to dehydration. Make sure you and your family are drinking plenty of water throughout the day, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
Be Mindful of Medication
Some medications can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. If you or your child are on medication, check with your doctor or pharmacist about any increased sun sensitivity.
Keep an Eye on Moles
Changes in moles can be a sign of skin cancer. Teach your teenagers to check their skin regularly for any changes in size, shape, or colour of their moles.
Extra Care for Children
Children’s skin is more sensitive than adults’, so it’s crucial to take extra care. Always apply sunscreen, even on cloudy days, and consider using sun-protective swimwear for added protection.
Remember, sun safety is not just for holidays. Even in the UK, the sun can be strong enough to cause skin damage. So, whether you’re in your garden, at the local park, or on a beach, follow these tips to ensure you and your family can enjoy the summer safely.