Sun safety tips for the family

Tips

According to our Scientific Director Julie McManus, we should be applying protection to our skin even when it's not hot outside.

 "Sun protection shouldn't just come out on sunny days. Even on a cloudy day, during the summer, up to 80% of the sun's ultraviolet rays can pass through the clouds. The unpredictability of our weather in this country also means that people often find themselves in blazing sunshine in the afternoon having left the house that very morning to cloudy skies," she says.

Despite people knowing more than ever these days about the dangers of the sun, sometimes we may also simply forget to apply sun protection. So to make sure that you and your family can enjoy the sun safely, no matter where you are, we've got some simple tips to make things easier.

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Tips for remembering to stay safe in the sun

1. Wrap, Splat, Hat - it's easy to remember!
Keep children well covered by making sure they're wrapped up or wearing a t-shirt. Splat on sun protection and re-apply frequently and generously to maintain protection, especially after swimming, perspiring and towelling. Don't forget to put on a hat and sunglasses.

2. Don't stay too long in the sun
Make sure you're not exposed to the sun's rays for too long, even when you're using sun-cream, as nothing provides you with 100% protection, and over-exposure to the sun is dangerous.

3. Get the factor right
Be sure you're using sun protection products that give you sufficient protection for your skin. And always keep babies and very young children out of direct sunlight.

4. Apply, then reapply
Apply the sun protection product just before exposure. Reapply frequently and generously to maintain protection, especially after swimming, perspiring or towelling.

Did you know?

SPF stands for ‘Sun Protection Factor’ and refers to the sun burn protection factor as it primarily shows the level of protection against UVB radiation.

5. Avoid sun-exposure at peak hours
The sun is at its strongest in the middle of the day, so it's best to seek shade between 11am and 3pm, especially if you're very fair skinned.

6. Nothing beats a cover up
No matter how much you apply, sun protection simply cannot give you 100% protection, so it's no substitute for staying in the shade, and wearing close-weave clothing (eg cotton), a broad-brimmed hat and a pair of quality UV sunglasses.
 

7. Know your rays
UVB rays and their intensity peak during the summer months. They penetrate the skin's surface and can damage skin cells causing a short-term reaction to the sun - like sunburn! UVA rays are present all year round. They penetrate deeper into the skin, damaging fibres in the dermis which leads to premature ageing, which is one of the many reasons why it's important to wear sun protection even on cloudy days in the UK.

Last updated: 22-May-2013 at 2:17 PM