Summer may well be over but there is still plenty to take away from what may well have been the warmest hot season in recent memory. Cancer Research UK has partnered with NIVEA SUN to release data which paints a picture of the sun care habits of British parents. The data indicates that many parents fail to provide the necessary skin protection from the sun. More than half of all parents said they had been sunburnt in the UK over the last year and many parents are confused about what safety precautions to take in particular from UV and SPF which have the potential to cause problems for the long-term health of children.
Not protecting skin from the sun
The survey polled 1,110 parents and questioned them about their behaviour in the sun and found that almost two thirds of respondents admitted they were more likely to protect their skin from the sun when they went abroad rather than when they were in the UK. Cancer Research UK and NIVEA sun warn that the sun can be just as strong in the UK as it is abroad so it is important to protect skin not just whilst on holiday but whilst people are at home as well. Data also suggests that people don’t have to be lying in the sun in order to get sunburnt. The most common place to get burnt is in the garden, followed by the beach and then doing outdoor DIY and that could cause lasting long-term skin damage.
Parents need to set a good example
According to the data just 28 per cent of parents strongly agree that they set a good example to follow for their children when it comes to protection from the sun. Children typically imitate their parents, so Cancer Research UK and its partner are advising parents to protect both their own and their children’s skin when they go outside in strong sun. Many parents are confused when it comes to safety in the sun with 10 per cent of those polled saying they were not sure or did not know there is a specific period when people need to be more careful in the sun. People need to be extra careful between 11am and 3pm according to Cancer Research UK and its partner.
Keep track of the UV Index
Many parents know nothing about the UV Index. UV rays can travel through clouds and this means it is possible to get sunburnt even when the weather is overcast. The UV Index lets people know how strong the sun is at ground level. When it exceeds 3 or more, this means the sun is particularly strong and some people could end up being sunburnt. The higher the number the greater the risk. For people wishing to check the UV index, simply visit www.metoffice.gov.uk/uv .
Parents do protect their children
On a brighter note, the data also shows that UK parents do indeed protect their children’s skin when they go outdoors. 85 per cent of those polled said they protected their children’s skin at the beach and comparable percentages also did so when children were in the garden or going for picnics. A Cancer Research UK spokesperson said whilst it is important to get some sun in order to develop and maintain healthy bones, it is important for people not to over do it and risk skin damage caused by sunburn.