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PLEASE be safe in the sun and PLEASE let my experiences be useful to you

(10 Posts)
ediemay Wed 22-Jun-05 15:45:52

Hi all,

Sorry this is long but I'm an old windbag.

I hope you're all having a beautiful sunny day today and I don't mean to sound like an old wet blanket but PLEASE be careful, at home and abroad, and protect your little ones.

I grew up in a hot country with a Mum who was considered mad (at the time) to cover us in high factor creams and insist we wore hats and Tshirts to go swimming. Boy am I grateful to her.

30 years on I've had every type of skin cancer going.
It started 12 years ago with a basal cell cancer and six years ago I had a serious malignamt melanoma - I'm still fighting the after-effects. I will have checks and treatment for the rest of my life and I am covered in ugly scars but I am SO lucky. Melanoma is a fast, fast killer and its secondary cancers are brain, lung and liver.

My DS is 2 and has a huge collection of hats! I am lucky to have him at all and determined to protect him. Please, please use my experience to benefit you and yours.

Have a fantastic summer and remember:

Use high factor creams - 25 and up - I use a 50 daily

Children need a factor 50 or 60

COVER UP - creams can't do it all - wear long sleeves, hats, sarongs

Sunburn means you are at increased risk of skin cancer

A sun tan means that skin is irreversibly damaged - the tan is the skin's defence response to the sun

Redheads, fair haired people, those with blue or green eyes and those whose skin will freckle are at increased risk because they have less pigment than others

Babies and children have very very fragile skin and are at great risk

Make sure there is shade in your garden or yard for the children to play in

INSIST nurseries and schools put hats on your children
and turn up unexpectedly to CHECK this

Sunbeds are very dangerous as well. They emit high amounts of UVC (natural sunlight emits mainly UVA and UVB). My consultant is on a campaign to have them banned in our area.

If you've read this far, thank you. The treatment I have had has been harrowing and painful. The scars I have are large and very ugly - on my face, forehead, arms, ankles and chest. Please be safe - enjoy the long, lovely days of summer and remember how beautiful your natural skin colour is.

dyzzidi Wed 22-Jun-05 15:49:06

Thank you for posting about your story. I do not sunbathe or walk in the sun without protection as i know the effects can be devastating. It pains me to see little ones wearing next to nothing in the sun.

I admire your bravery and you willingness to help others.

Have a safe summer.

dizzymama Wed 22-Jun-05 15:59:10

Wow ediemay,you sound like a very brave (and sensible) lady. Thank you for posting that advice, it is so true. As a fair haired and fair skinned person I burn really quickly so I take extra care with Dd.
Thank you again x

handlemecarefully Wed 22-Jun-05 16:01:34

Thank you for posting a timely reminder.

Am proud that neither child has yet had any skin redness or burning yet after sun exposure. Hope to keep it that way

Lizzylou Wed 22-Jun-05 16:02:10

Thanks for sharing your experience Ediemay and for your advice

womba1 Wed 22-Jun-05 16:05:46

Ediemay, my heart goes out to you as my dh has also endured many painful treatments for skin cancers.
Wishing you a happy Summer x

QueenOfQuotes Wed 22-Jun-05 16:11:03

and also just to add to it, if you, or your children are black/mixed race still make sure you protect yourself.

DH always thought (having grown up in Zimbabwe) that he 'couldn't' burn.......until he spent Christmas in Perth (Australia) at the age of 19........ended up with a very sore and peeling face (and it wasn't 'that' hot that Christmas either).

lilaclotus Wed 22-Jun-05 16:11:17

thank you for this post
the other day i was one of few parents at nursery who actually dropped off dd with a hat on (and with factor 50+ on her). today she lost her hat there and i'm going to go buy her a new one later to be sure she's got one for tomorrow.

Cam Wed 22-Jun-05 16:43:13

You're so right Ediemay, I send dd to school with Factor 30 and keep her in the shade in the garden when its like this recent sunny weather.

2 boys in her class turned up with very sunburnt shoulders on Monday after the weather hit here last weekend. A third boy had such bad sunburn that he had to go to the doctor who told him to stay off school for the day

These are 8 year olds, I think people can forget to do the prevention things on older kids

ediemay Thu 23-Jun-05 11:58:50

On a cheerier note, Sainsburys have got some great hats for children and they are only £2 or £3!

Thanks for your replies, keep passing the message on!

e

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