Stay safe in the sun

Everyone loves to get out and about during the warmer months. These no-fuss tips mean the whole family can enjoy the sunshine safely

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UK sun is hot too! Think you can’t burn here in good old Blighty? Think again. Despite not being renowned for its balmy climate, the UK can get as hot as some Mediterranean countries, so sun-savvy precautions when out and about still apply. Most sun damage occurs during day-to-day activities – it’s not just the beach you need to worry about.

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Sun cream know-how Tempting as it may be to squeeze the last little bit out of an old tube, it’s not a good idea, as its protective properties become less effective over time. NEVER use oil on your child’s skin, as it simply won’t provide protection, and make sure you don’t mistake aftersun for sun cream. Sounds obvious but it’s easily done!

Don’t be fooled by cloudy days Just because it’s cloudy doesn’t mean you can’t get sunburnt – and that goes double for your baby. In fact, it’s easier to burn on cloudy days because you’re less likely to take the usual precautions, such as applying sun cream and popping a T-shirt and hat on her. Clouds only block some of the dangerous UV rays, and cool winds can also lull you into a false sense of security. Remember, too, that the sun’s rays can be reflected off water and burn skin. So stay vigilant!

Beware of glass He sun’s rays are so strong they can even burn your child’s skin through glass, so make sure she wears sun cream and is dressed appropriately even when she’s in the car.

Drink lots of fluids Young children can dehydrate very quickly, so make sure cool drinks are in plentiful supply. Water is best but you can also offer very dilute fruit juice. If she’s very active – in and out of the pool, for instance, or running around – she’ll get extra thirsty. Keep drinks in a cool bag so they’re cold and refreshing.

For more information on staying safe in the sun, see sunsmart.org.uk

Sun protection for newborns and small babies

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  • Keep newborns out of the sun until they’re at least six months old.
  • From six months, you can use sun cream. Use a hypoallergenic suncare lotion that is specially produced for babies and toddlers, no less than SPF 50. Even after six months try to avoid direct sun exposure.
  • Reduce the risks of sun exposure by going out before 11am or after 3pm
  • Parasols and UV-protective tents are good ways to protect your baby on sunny days at the beach park or garden.
  • Sun protective suits are great for all over coverage.

    Sun cream application tips:

  • Hit the key areas: We’re talking noses, shoulders, tops of feet, ears and backs of neck.
  • Don’t scrimp: You need at least half a handful (20ml) to cover a child’s body.
  • Spread it on: Much better than rubbing in.
  • Time it right: For sun cream to be effective, you need to put it on 20-30mins before going outside.
  • And repeat: Don’t forget to re-apply the sun cream every few hours and after being in the water.

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