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Slip Slop Slap Seek Slide - Stay safe in the sun!

Slip Slop Slap Seek Slide - Stay safe in the sun this summer!

Remember skin can burn on overcast days and watch out for those cooling breezes!

We're hoping to bask in a gloriously sunny summer! Whether you are out enjoying Lymington's fabulous Seawater Baths, walking along the coastal path along the Solent, exploring the New Forest, or simply relaxing in the garden, it is worth reminding ourselves to be sensible with the sun. Adults and children alike enjoy spending time outdoors in the sunshine. However, it's a well-known fact that over-exposure to the ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can cause sunburn, speed up the ageing process of your skin and increase the risk of skin cancer.

The delicate skin of babies and children is particularly sensitive to UV rays. In fact, research indicates that sunburn in childhood may increase the risk of skin cancer in later life. So take special care to ensure that children are given the protection they deserve when out in the sun.

Slip Slop Slap Seek Slide

Slip - Slop - Slap - Seek - Slide

A good way to get children (and adults!) to remember what to do in the sun is SLIP, SLOP, SLAP, SEEK, SLIDE:

SLIP on a t-shirt   

SLOP on some sunscreen

SLAP on a hat

SEEK out some shade

SLIDE on some sunglasses

Top tips for sun safe kids

Slip Slop Slap copyright B marketing.co.ukSLIP on a t-shirt and SLAP on a hat

Covering the skin with cool, loose clothing is one of the safest and least expensive ways of protecting children from the sun. Long sleeve t-shirts and hats which shade the face, neck and ears are best. Clothing made from tightly woven fabrics, such as cotton, offers good protection from the sun's rays.

Look out for sunsuits with a high SPF in the fabric - most high street stores now stock these at reasonable prices. Locally, JoJo Maman Bébé in Lymington High Street is a great place to find swimwear for children with sun protection.

SEEK out some shade

Encourage children to play in the shade, particularly between the hours of 11 am and 3 pm when the sun's rays are most intense. Babies should be kept out of the sun: use sunshades on prams and never leave babies unattended outside as they are unable to move with the shade.

Plan walks or other activities to avoid the midday sun. Don't be fooled by cool breezes or cloud cover, as up to 80% of the sun's rays can penetrate through light clouds and mist. Sand, water, concrete and other light surfaces also reflect UV light on the skin, increasing the risk of sunburn.

Beach tents with a high SPF (40 or more) are also a good idea for keeping babies (and sleepy children) out of the sun.

SLOP on sufficient sunscreen...regularly

Applying sun protection creamWhen neither shade nor protective clothing is practical, use a high-factor sunscreen on all exposed skin. However, due to the sensitive nature of their skin, children should ideally use a sunblock with a much higher sun protection factor (SPF) which blocks out as much of the sun's harmful UVA and UVB rays as possible. Apply sunscreen frequently and generously (following instructions), particularly after being in the water or after towelling skin dry.

Department of Health advice is for children to always use a sunscreen of SPF40 or above, and adults (unless very fair skinned) at least SPF30. Bear in mind that most damage to your skin is done by the time you are 18. Sunscreen should be applied to all exposed skin, including the face, neck and ears, and head if you have thinning or no hair, but a wide-brimmed hat is better.

Most people do not apply enough sunscreen - if sunscreen is applied too thinly, the amount of protection it gives is reduced. As a guide, adults should aim to apply around:

  • 2 teaspoons of sunscreen if you're just covering your head, arms and neck
  • 2 tablespoons if you're covering your entire body while wearing a swimming costume

If you're worried you might not be applying enough SPF30, you could use sunscreen with a higher SPF and if you plan to be out in the sun long enough to risk burning, sunscreen needs to be applied twice: 30 minutes before going out and just before going out.

Sunscreen needs to be reapplied liberally and frequently, and according to the manufacturer's instructions. This includes applying it straight after you have been in the water, even if it's "water resistant", and after towel drying, sweating or when it may have rubbed off. It's also recommended to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours, as the sun can dry it off your skin.

Child wearing sunglasses and hat and tshirt eating ice creamRemember, using sunscreen does not guarantee that you will not burn. Do not use sunscreen to prolong the time children spend in the sun!

Sun lotion has a shelf life of about 2-3 years, but only if it hasn't been left in direct sunlight or stored at high temperatures.

SLIDE on some sunnies

Remember to protect your eyes in the sun. A day at the beach without proper eye protection can cause a temporary but painful burn to the surface of the eye, similar to sunburn. Reflected sunlight from snow, sand, concrete and water, and artificial light from sunbeds, is particularly dangerous. Avoid looking directly at the sun, as this can cause permanent eye damage.

Make sure that children wear proper sunglasses with wraparound lenses or wide arms that meet the CE Mark and British Standard Mark 12312-1:2013 E.

 

For more information, click here to visit the NHS website

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