Image Credit: Jeremy Bishop
For most of us, there is nothing quite as nice as getting out in the sunshine – I know that I feel better when the sun comes out, and I love the feeling of the sun on my face. However I also have very fair skin, burn really easily and my kids have both inherited my delicate skin and my husband’s classic pale Irish complexion!
So sun protection has always been a really important issue for me.
Sunshine is not all bad – it helps the body produce vitamin D which is important for helping your kid’s bones to grow and stay strong, as well as helping to prevent osteoporosis later in life. I am so please to see that once again it is Sun Awareness Week in the UK. While sunburn may be unpleasant and uncomfortable, it can also lead to skin cancer.
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Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the UK and rates have been climbing since the 1960s, and the sun damage which starts in childhood can lead to skin cancer later in life. Sun Awareness Week is supported by the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) and the British Skin Foundation (BSF) and aims to get the message out about skin protection to prevent skin cancer happening.
For starters, here are their tips for protecting yourself in the sun.
So there you have it – keep covered up, stay out of the sun at the hottest time of day and don’t be stingy with the sun cream!
Related: Stay Safe in the Sun - Sun Safety Colouring Picture - Free printable
UV – Ultra Violet is the stuff that causes sunburn. The more the UV that your skin is exposed to, the more the danger of sunburn. With this in mind, the British Association of Dermatologists have come up with a really neat little app - the World UV App which is free to download for iOS or Android.
The app tells you what the UV level where you are is forecast to be (using data from the Met Office) and gives you recommendations on how much sun protection you should use.
OK, this is the bit you don’t want to think about, but here are the BAD’s recommendations on how to spot if you might have skin cancer.
The following ABCD-Easy rules show you the skin changes that might indicate a 'melanoma', which is the deadliest form of skin cancer.
If you want to find out more about sun protection for your kids and you, here are some really good resources:
Sun Aware is a website from NHS Fife and NHS Tayside with lots of advice and printable posters.
The Cancer Research UK website has loads of information about sun protection, advice on use of sun beds and how to ensure you are getting enough vitamin D without getting sunburnt.
SunSmart is an Australian website (where sun exposure is an even bigger issue than it is here in the UK – according to their website, shockingly two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70) with advice for parents, schools, workplaces and schools.
SunSmart NZ is New Zealand’s advice on Sun Protection, with their campaign Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap – Slip on a long sleeved short and Slip into the shade, Slop on some sun cream, Slap on a hat, Wrap on sunglasses.
NHS Choices has lots of good advice about how to avoid sunburn and what to do if you or your children are sunburnt.
Here is the BSF’s fun video on sun protection – the message being that Blackpool rock should be pink – your skin should not!
Related: Summer Colouring Pictures
About the Author: Jacqui O'Brien is the Editor of eParenting.