Are you sun aware?
I grew up spending summers running around on holiday with my beach gear on all day without a thought for any long term damage being done to my skin. Admittedly it was near Skegness, not on the Costa del Sol! We didn’t have any idea in the 70s that the sun was potentially so dangerous, even here in the UK.
Today we don’t have any excuses for not protecting our children (or ourselves) from the effects of over exposure to the sun. We’ve had the Australian-inspired ‘Slip, slop, slap’ campaign, (encouraging kids to slip on a t-shirt, slop on a hat and slap on some sun cream) and America’s ‘Block
the sun, not the fun’ message, which said it’s important to allow children to get their vital daily dose of vitamin D but to do so safely. We have numerous high factor creams and sprays on the shelves,
some as high as factor 50 and swimsuits for babies and older children designed to cover sensitive skin.
Beyond the campaigns are the facts. That’s when it gets scary and why it’s important for the message to get through to all parents and children.
Fact 1 – did you know that a child’s skin can burn in as little as 10 minutes?
Fact 2 – It takes just six episodes of serious sunburn before the age of 18 to double the risk of developing skin cancer as an adult.
Fact 3 – According to the British Skin Foundation, a person will die from skin cancer every four hours in the UK and a new case is diagnosed every four minutes.
So whether we’re hoping for a scorcher here in the UK or joining the annual getaway to guaranteed sunshine we should remember to let our children enjoy the sun but be aware of the dangers too.
Visit British Skin Foundation for more facts and prevention measures.
Superkids Children’s Services Manager