Get ready to be sun safe this summer
Sun safety is important because overexposure to UV radiation from the sun can lead to skin cancer including its most serious form, melanoma. Too much sun can also cause damage to our eyes. Don’t worry though, simple steps can keep your child safe.
Avoid those rays
UV rays (which cause sunburn) are strongest from March to October in the UK so between these months children should:
- Cover up with clothes and a hat.
- Stay in the shade, especially from 11am to 3pm.
- Use sun cream.
Slap on the sun cream
Sun cream lotion should have SPF (sun protection factor) at least SPF30 and 5 stars for the UVA rating. The SPF of sun cream gives an indication of the protection offered against UVB and the star rating shows UVA protection (from one to five stars, five being the highest protection). For children with fair skin which easily burns it may be advisable to use sun cream with SPF 50.
- Apply plenty of sun cream – most people don’t use enough. Be sure to follow the pack instructions carefully.
- Apply it to all exposed areas of skin including the face, neck and ears, tops of feet.
- Reapply sun cream often (about every 2 hours) and immediately after your children have been in water or have been towelled.
- Don’t rub it in too much.
Keep an eye on their eyes
Children should be told to avoid looking at the sun. Sunglasses also help to protect young eyes, especially where there are reflective surfaces such as water or sand.