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To think we're far too scared of the sun!

(253 Posts)
BedHanger Thu 09-May-13 08:59:07

A leading lecturer in dermatology at Edinburgh university has said that the benefits of sun exposure "may far outweigh the risks" after a new study has shown an hour's exposure significantly reduces blood pressure:

This is on top of our growing understanding of the vital role played by vitamin d in health.

AIBU to worry more about whether my DC are getting sufficient sun than about the potential risks? I don't let them burn btw, but I do make sure they have plenty of sun cream-free time whenever possible.

CruCru Thu 09-May-13 09:08:24

Sounds reasonable. Playing in sunshine is one of the greatest pleasures for a child.

cheesecheeseplease Thu 09-May-13 09:08:25

yabu, sorry I work in a derm dept and see the effects of not just too much sun exposure bit what most people would call a normal amput which results in a lot of cases in painful surgery, radiotherapy, freezing treatment for multiple lesions in most case. The article is right there are not that many deaths from skin cancer but lesions treated equal the occurrence of all other types of cancer in the uk (primary care commisioning group dermatology guidelines). One of the consultants I work with states that the amount of sin exposure we need to get enough vitamin d is the backs of our hands exposed for 20 mins on a cloudy day!
Sorry for th rant bit if you saw what I saw on a daily basis you may think differently. brew

cheesecheeseplease Thu 09-May-13 09:09:09

amput = amount!

nightowlmostly Thu 09-May-13 09:12:27

I have a one year old DS, and I like him to get a bit of sunshine without being covered in sun cream. On the other hand I'm a bit paranoid about him burning, it can happen so quickly!

YANBU, I agree that we need to get some sun, it's not all bad by any stretch, and kids are too often sunblocked up to the hilt. I hardly ever remember wearing suncream when I was little.

Yes skin cancer is a risk, but as long as you are careful about being out too long a wee bit of sun is good for you!

paperclips Thu 09-May-13 09:13:01

I have caught myself pondering this same thing the other day, when I was worrying about the (less than) 5 minute walk to baby group with DS. It wasn't even all that sunnny. I decided 5 minutes would be OK and the vitamin D would be beneficial, but stuck a hat. Even for a baby,he has very fair skin and blonde hair and he throws his hat off all the time so I do worry about the sun.

But yes, I have read vitamin D deficiancy is increasingly common in western countries. A bit more being active outdoors would do us all some good. It's a fine line though. en he goes to nursery I would put suncream on first thing in the morning so he wouldn't get a lot of time without it at all.

How long is it safe for a baby to be out without hats/sunscreen it before they risk burning? Not long I would think, and this time of year sun is almost at its strongest is that right?

badguider Thu 09-May-13 09:14:24

I think the timing of this announcement is not ideal because don't know anybody who doens't get outside for an hour a day through summer. Some people might be too paranoid about the sun but I don't think the average british person is in the summer.

In winter it's a different matter. I make sure I get out at lunchtime when it's dark for the cycle to and from work but I know many people don't. I also make sure I am outside at weekends in winter. I only wear sunscrean for skiing in winter. I do think the SPF50+ "all year round" people quoted in beauty magazines are a bit mad but I don't know anybody in real life who does that.

Having said that, I would burn if i sat outside and not in shade or with cream for an hour at lunchtime in summer so stick to the shade or wear suncream.

SchroSawMargeryDaw Thu 09-May-13 09:15:46

YANBU, I completely agree.

I'm biased though as I don't burn and rarely tan, well I have twice in my whole life and those were in severe circumstances. If I was more of a burner then I might have a different view.

I don't generally ever use sun screen, I probably should.

DS is always covered though but I do like him to get some sun.

chocolateorangeyum Thu 09-May-13 09:16:47

Absolutely agree with cheese. Isn't there a statistic that two episodes of peeling sunburn in a child can increase their risk of skin cancer something like 50 per cent or more? On that basis I will avoid my kids getting sunburn even if it means they don't tan. You won't get fit D deficiency if you eat a normal diet, spend time outside and don't wear sun cream in the winter.

meglet Thu 09-May-13 09:17:01

Yanbu. As long as you're careful and don't burn, cover up during the middle of the day then the sun isn't the enemy.

However I am very biased as I have suffered severe depression in my time and also have excess hair so sunshine + a tan are my lifeline. I've struggled over the last winter and have been outside making the most of every ray in the last week.

PoppyAmex Thu 09-May-13 09:19:28

You don't need to "burn" to be at risk for skin cancer - that's a dangerous misconception.

paperclips Thu 09-May-13 09:21:24

But- I don't think we're too scared on the whole- cheesecheeses post shows that.

Plus, look how many people are totally careless in the sun, and you see walking around burnt after a warm spell.

SchroSawMargeryDaw Thu 09-May-13 09:21:36

I know that and that's why I said I should wear sun screen.

Like meglet though, I have some medical problems including severe fatigue and the sun helps a lot, I take the risk.

eltsihT Thu 09-May-13 09:25:20

I think it's about being sensible, I have had a melanoma removed as a teenager and am fully recovered, but my grandfather died from skin cancer in his 50's. so maybe I worry about it more than most. If I am out for 5 minutes, I don't put cream on but any longer and I do.

Although I wonder if its to do with factors, I mean factor 50 which only needs applied every 6-8 hours is really paint isn't it. I sort of miss the easy to rub in factor 12/8 of my youth even if you have to reapply every 30 minutes.

Samu2 Thu 09-May-13 09:25:45

I love the sun but I am petrified of skin cancer. I have had so many burns it's untrue, I burn in seconds it seems.

Funnily enough, I just read this morning about skin cancer and sun cream

I have seen a lot of these types of articles being posted on FB lately.

I don't know what to think.

SchroSawMargeryDaw Thu 09-May-13 09:27:08

eltsifT Have you tried P10 or P20? I used this in Florida and it was very good. Only needs applied once a day, waterproof and isn't like paint.

valiumredhead Thu 09-May-13 09:29:01

Im with cheese on this one and have seen first hand the damage very little sun exposure can do -and also how late in life problems can occur.

You don't need to "burn" to be at risk for skin cancer - that's a dangerous misconception

This ^

MiaowTheCat Thu 09-May-13 09:55:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

shebangsthedrum Thu 09-May-13 10:08:15

I think you have to be aware of skin type aswell. 2 of my dc's are very dark, olive skin types. 2 have fairish skin and the eldest is inbetween. We use different sun creams on them, but always over 15 and much higher when we are in hot climates.

SchroSawMargeryDaw Thu 09-May-13 10:27:06

That's where my problem is SheBangs. I have no idea what my skin type is.

Anything I have read says that I "burn easily and freckle easily" but I don't, I have very very fair skin (think nearly blue in the winter) and very blonde hair but factor 50 would be far too strong for me.

cheesecheeseplease Thu 09-May-13 10:36:19

what you have to remember about the factors is that the protection time varies depending on your skin type so if I burn in 5 mins factor 10 would protect me for 50 mins. factor 30 for 150 mins so if you want to use a lighter sunscreen it's fine you just ahve to reapply more often! ps I do burn in about 10 mins!shock

SchroSawMargeryDaw Thu 09-May-13 10:40:55

That's the problem though, judging how long it would take me to burn as it just never really happens.

For instance, the other day it was clear (UV at 4) 22 degrees and I stayed in the garden all day with no sun screen, I didn't burn.

So what factor would I use and when would I use it?


EskSmith Thu 09-May-13 10:47:17

I think a happy medium needs to be found but there is no one size fits all solution. A moderate amount of sun exposure for my DH would leave me looking like a lobster. Even managing it in short bursts I'd find it hard to get an hour's exposure a day without burning.

MummytoKatie Thu 09-May-13 11:00:04

Depends on your skin colour. I have very ple skin so absorb vitamin d really really well but am at high risk of burning / skin cancer. If you have dark skin then lack of vitamin d is more likely to be a problem.

Stupidly I married the only man in the UK with even paler skin than mine so poor dd is sentenced to a lifetime of factor 50 and people saying "just arrived?" on the last day of her 2 week summer sun holiday.

francesdrake Thu 09-May-13 11:07:08

I'm very pale, hate the sun, and although I'm out and about for at least 90 minutes every day walking the dog, I wear moisturiser with a SPF30, and sunscreen in the summer and always cover up. Last year I was feeling rundown and thought I had some kind of thyroid issue so went to get blood tests. Thyroid was fine, but my Vitamin D levels, which should be about 50nmol/L, were EIGHT. 25 is considered a serious deficiency. I was prescribed high strength supplements for three months, and told to 'strip off and get some direct sun at midday'. hmm

Apparently Vit D deficiency is a serious thing in the UK now, as a result of the rubbish weather, caution about skin cancer, the decline of the Vit D-rich mackerel fishing industry and the fact that we all stay indoors watching television...

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