Sun Safety Advice
Sunscreens and Sun Protection
A sunscreen is any product applied to the skin to protect it from the sun. Almost any substance -make-up, lip balm, even dirt – will act as a sunscreen to some extent, but should not be relied on for protection!
Sunscreens may contain physical barriers, chemical absorbers or both. The physical barriers in sunscreens reflect the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation away from the body; while the chemical absorbers soak up ultraviolet radiation reducing the amount that reaches the skin.
Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is a measure of how much a sunscreen protects your skin from burning in the sun. A sunscreen’s SPF is measured by timing how long skin covered with sunscreen takes to burn when compared with unprotected skin. So, if your unprotected skin would burn in 10 minutes in the midday sun, by using a sunscreen of SPF2, this would double the time spent before burning to 20 minutes. Always choose a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or above and try to limit the length of time you spend in the sun.
After-sun creams and lotions may help to soothe sunburnt or dry skin caused by the sun. But they can’t help repair more serious skin damage.
Take care especially when you are:
- Queuing – While you’re waiting in queues it’s easy to forget that you’re still exposed to the sun’s rays. You may well not know how long you’ll have to spend waiting. So cover up first – don’t wait until you can feel your skin burning.
- Swimming – When you’re dipping in and out of cool water at the beach or pool, you probably won’t feel as hot. But the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays reflect off water making you burn faster. Use a water-resistant sunscreen before you head into the water and re-apply regularly.
- In the car – Keep the temperature in the car cool. Babies can overheat in warm weather and may feel hot and uncomfortable. Give them frequent drinks to prevent them getting dehydrated and never leave them alone in the car.
Hot Tips to keep you safe in the sun
- See our sun safety video here
- Loose fitting clothing will help keep you cool; wear a T-shirt with longer sleeves for added protection.
- Apply factor 30+ sunscreen liberally to exposed parts of the body, spread liberally and re-apply regularly.
pay particular attention to ears, neck, bald patches, hands and feet;
- Re-apply regularly, especially after swimming.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat and make sure it covers the face and back of the neck.
- Sunglasses will help protect your eyes from the sun – the most expensive pairs may not be the most protective. Choose a pair that has 100% UV Block.
- Seek shade between 11 and 4, take care not to burn. If you are visiting somewhere that might not have much shade, create your own with a beach umbrella, cabana or parasol.
Don’t be fooled by a cool breeze or light cloud – take care not to burn.