Slip, slop, slap – follow these tips to keep your family protected in the sun

Parents are being reminded to protect their children from the sun’s harmful rays during the current heatwave.

Clinical leaders from Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven, and Bradford districts and Bradford City clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are asking families to stay protected and take extra care in the sun as schools break up for summer.

Young children and babies are especially vulnerable to the hot temperatures, so it is important to make sure they are well protected with high factor sun cream, clothes and a hat.  Babies under six months old should NEVER be left in direct strong sunlight.

A quick way to remember the advice is:

  • Slip on a T-shirt.
  • Slop on some sun cream.
  • Slap on a hat.

It can also become uncomfortable indoors too so to keep rooms cool – close blinds or curtains on windows that receive sun and open windows at cooler times of the day.

Dr Amy Tatham, clinical lead for children for NHS Bradford district and Craven CCGs, said: “By taking some simple steps you will ensure your family can enjoy the hot weather while remaining safe during the summer.

“Keep in mind how harmful the sun can be for babies and children and how easily they can burn. Sun cream with a 30 or 50 sun protection factor (SPF) will help keep their skin protected. Don’t forget to apply it to their shoulders, nose, ears, cheeks, and the tops of their feet and reapply often throughout the day.

“Damage caused by repeated exposure to sunlight could lead to skin cancer developing in later life.”

Top tips for keeping babies and children safe in sun

  • Keep children in the shade especially between 11am and 3pm, when the sun is at its strongest.
  • Keep babies aged under six months out of direct sunlight, especially around midday.
  • Use a sun cream SPF 30 or SPF 50 that is effective against UVA and UVB 21, even on cloudy or overcast days and reapply regularly.
  • Protect your child’s shoulders and the back of their neck when they’re playing, as these are the most common areas for sunburn.
  • Make sure your child wears a hat with a wide brim that shades their face and neck; and loose cotton clothes.
  • Ensure your child wears sunglasses that meet the British Standard and carry the CE mark – check the label.
  • If your child is swimming, use a waterproof sunblock of factor 15 or above. Reapply after towelling.

More advice about staying safe in the sun can be found on the NHS Choices website at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/safety-in-the-sun/

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