Take care in the sun

School nurses from the Northern Health and Social Care Trust recently attended Ballysally Primary School to promote the importance of staying safe in the sun to children and their parents.  The event was also attended by Jonathan Bell MLA, Junior Minister in the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister.

Pupils and their parents were provided with ‘keeping safe in the sun’ literature, sun-creams, bookmarks and also special bracelets which indicate the strength of the sun. 

Sharon Graham, School Nurse Practice Teacher in the Northern Health and Social Care Trust, said: “The Northern Trust is encouraging everyone to enjoy the sun safely this summer by following proper sun care advice. Sun care means protecting your skin, regardless of its colour, from the sun. Even if it appears to be cool and there are clouds in the sky, it is vital you protect your skin as the sun can still cause lasting damage.

“It is essential to stay in the shade from 11.00am to 3.00pm when the sun is at its most strongest and a high factor sun screen should be used and always put on prior to going outside”.

Too much sun is extremely harmful and sensible sun care should be followed to prevent both short-term and long-term skin damage.  There are several simple steps we can take to enjoy the sun safely:-

• Stay out of the sun during peak times – between 11 am and 3 pm

• Wear sunscreen – the higher the factor the better the protection. Use broad spectrum sunscreen as it protects your skin against both UVA and UVB rays.

• Protect your children from the sun – young skin is sensitive and very easily damaged by the sun. Getting sunburnt as a child is known to increase the risk of developing cancer as an adult.

• Use water resistant sunscreen on all exposed areas of your child’s skin and apply generously every couple of hours

• Watch the UV index indicated on a weather map – the higher the number, the higher the radiation.

• Cover up – choose materials that block out most of the UV rays. Sunglasses are a vital part of summer attire they protect your eyes and eyelids.

• Check moles – changes in moles may indicate skin cancer however most changes are harmless. Please consult your doctor about any changes.

• Avoid the use of sunbeds – sunbeds have been linked to an increased risk of cancer as well as eye conditions.

• Wear fake tan instead – these do not damage your skin. ENDS

Page last updated:28 July 2014