Summer has arrived, the sun is out and with temperatures rising and high UV levels, experts at Birmingham Children’s Hospital are reminding families to stay safe.
As great as having fun in the sun is, it’s important to follow simple advice to make sure everyone steers clear of any harm. Just 10 minutes of strong sunshine is all it takes to burn pale skin.
Unfortunately, when the temperatures and UV levels rise, teams at the specialist paediatric hospital do see an increase in the number of babies and children needing treatment for sunstroke, dehydration and sunburn, especially when summer first arrives.
To help stay safe in the sun, experts recommend taking these simple precautions:
- Protect the skin with clothing, including a hat, t-shirt and sunglasses.
- Spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm, when the sun is at its strongest.
- Use sunscreen of at least SPF30 and making sure it has UVA and UVB protection with a four-star rating and symbol on the bottle. Apply it liberally and frequently throughout the day.
- Keep babies and young children out of direct sunlight.
Dr Christopher Chiswell, Consultant in Public Health Medicine at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It’s always lovely to see so many people out and about when we have good weather but when temperatures rise, we need to look out for and protect our children and young people from the dangers of exposure to the sun.
“By the time the consequences of being exposed to the sun take effect, physical damage has already occurred. Children, especially babies, are more vulnerable, so we’re asking all parents and carers to help them stay safe by following a few simple steps.
“Whatever your age, make sure you apply sun cream regularly, wear a hat and stay hydrated. By following this advice, you will significantly reduce the risk of sunstroke and burns, prevent long-term damage and be able to continue to enjoy the sunshine and good weather.”
Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust website now hosts a special health and wellbeing section, which includes lots useful and simple advice. This includes tips for staying safe in the sun and preparing to cope with periods of extreme heat over the course of the summer.