This week is National Sun Awareness Week! This national awareness week is set up by the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD). It aims to raise awareness of the harm which exposure to the sun can cause for people – especially in the UK! The week runs from the 14th – 18th of May and aims to give out tips on sun safety ahead of the approaching summer months.
Why is sun safety so important?
It is recorded that a massive 35% of the British public were burnt last summer in the UK. In fact, 28% of these people were burnt more than once! These statistics are extremely worrying.
Sun burn is one of the key risk factors when it comes to the contraction of melanoma skin cancer.
Melanoma is the fifth most common form of cancer in the UK, with over 15,000 cases being diagnosed each year. Shockingly, around 86% of these cases could have been prevented if the correct sun safety procedures had been taken.
Sun safety in children.
Children have a greater risk of sun burn as their skin is more susceptible to harmful UV radiation. Therefore it is essential that we protect children from the sun.
The more times a person acquires sun burn, the greater risk it poses for them as they approach adulthood.
During days where the UV is at a high level, children must wear both a hat and sun glasses; the head and the eyes are two of the most vulnerable places when it comes to sun damage.
Too much sun on the head can cause sun or heat stroke. Heat stroke is a severe illness caused by prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures. Its most common symptoms are confusion, headaches, and vomiting. And in some extreme cases requires hospitalisation.
Children must also use a sun cream which is either factor 30 or above. However it’s strongly recommended that children use broad-spectrum factor 50 sun cream. It’s also important that children avoid the sun between 11am and 3pm when the sun is at its most dangerous.
Therefore it’s essential that schools supply a sheltered area in which children can sit during lunch and play times.
Hand Made Safety
If your school has limited natural shade available, consider installing an outdoor classroom, a shelter, or a range of playhouses to ensure children have a sun-safe spot to sit and relax in.
It’s vital that children avoid sun burns and heat stroke whilst playing at school.
It’s also essential that, when it comes to high temperatures and UV levels, children are offered shade in order to help reduce the risk of contracting potentially life threatening illnesses later in life.