Temperatures are set to rise – advice from Birmingham Children’s Hospital experts on staying safe in the sun | News

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Temperatures are set to rise – advice from Birmingham Children’s Hospital experts on staying safe in the sun

Sun over BCH The first signs of summer are starting to appear, trees are green, evenings are getting longer and flowers are blooming. The weather is starting to change with forecasts that this weekend will see the highest temperatures of the year so far. Lots of us will be spending more time outside but it’s important to remember to stay safe in the sun.

As great as having fun in the sun is, it’s hugely important to follow simple advice to make sure all the family stays safe. Just 10 minutes of strong sunshine is all it takes to burn pale skin.

Unfortunately, when the temperatures and UV levels rise, teams at Birmingham Children’s Hospital do see an increase in the number of babies and children needing treatment for sunstroke, dehydration and sunburn.

To help stay safe in the sun, experts at the specialist paediatric centre 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 a host of useful and simple advice. This includes tips for staying safe in the sun and preparing to cope with periods of extreme heat as we head into summer.

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