As the summer approaches, we’re all looking forward to days out, more time in the garden or maybe even a holiday abroad. Whatever your summer plans, the best way to enjoy the sun safely and protect your skin from sunburn is to use a combination of shade, clothing and sunscreen. Children and teenagers might need a helping hand, but setting a good example is a great way to help them set good habits and make sure the whole family is protected.

 

Who is Most at Risk of Skin Cancer?

No matter how dark our skin is, or how easily we tan, the fact is we are all at risk. However, some people are at greater risk including:
• Fair skin that burns easily
• Red or fair hair
• Lots of moles/freckles
• A family history of skin cancer
• A history of sunburn

 

The 5 S’s of Sun Safety

1. Slip-on a t-shirt

• Clothing can be one of the most effective barriers between our skin and the sun
• Clothing should cover as much skin as possible
• Always keep shoulders covered, as they can easily burn

 

2. Slop on factor 30+ sunscreen

• No sunscreen provides complete protection
• Never rely on sunscreen alone to protect your skin
• Always use a sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or above, preferably water-resistant
• Make sure it’s broad spectrum and carries a UVA symbol (if it has a star rating, use a minimum of 4 stars)

 

3. Slap on a hat

• Always wear a hat with a wide brim that shades the face, neck and ears
• Legionnaire (with a flap that covers the neck and joins the front peak) or bucket style hats (with minimum 7.5cm brim) are the most effective
• Warning: baseball caps do not shade the ears and neck, which can easily burn

 

4. Slide on some sunglasses

• Solar UV radiation can be damaging to the eyes so it is important to wear quality sunglasses
• Overall protection depends on the quality of the lens and the overall design
• Look for the European CE mark which indicates a safe level of protection

 

5, Shade from the sun when possible

• Seek shade whenever possible, particularly at the hottest times of the day between 11am and 3pm, when UV penetration is strongest
• Keep toddlers and babies in the shade at all times
• Never rely on shade alone, always combine with personal protection measures

 

Remember

A massive 80-90% of all skin cancer cases in the UK are preventable with sun-safe measures