Be Sun Safe As North Cumbria Integrated Care Warns People Of The Dangers

The North Cumbria Integrated Care trust is warning people about the danger of too much sun.

With the end of travel restrictions of the UK, some countries still have restrictions in place, foreign holidays are back on the cards and some people have already booked holidays looking for hot weather.

But when it’s too hot for too long there are health risks.

If a heatwave hits this summer, make sure the hot weather doesn’t harm you or anyone you know.

It’s important to protect yourself from too much sun or heat, to carry water when travelling and to think of those, such as young children or older people, who may feel the heat more than others.

Katarina Berankova, Clinical Director for Paediatrics at North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It is not uncommon to see children at the beginning of summer with moderate to severe sunburn.

“Most typically, these are older children who get distracted in play forgetting about appropriate sun protection.

“It is very important that even in school age children and teenagers their parents keep reminding them to use the sunscreen and avoid direct sunlight when it is at its highest level in the middle of the day.

“Mild sunburns can be treated with application of creams containing Panthenol which provide cooling effect and help skin to recover.

“Any deeper sunburns, if forming blisters or if there are secretions from damaged skin, should be reviewed as soon as possible by GP or in A&E.

“They might require more specialised treatment and sterile dressing depending on the depth and extent of the sunburns. As they are also quite painful, appropriate painkillers should be used to decrease the distress of a child.”

Babies and young children can become ill during very hot weather and their health can be seriously affected by:

  • dehydration
  • heat exhaustion and heatstroke
  • sunburn

Summer is traditionally a time for school sports days.

Make sure you apply sun cream to your child at the start of the day and send them to school with a sun hat and a bottle of water.

While many people think the damage is finished once the pink or redness leaves the issues could come later in life.

Katarina said: “Skin has a memory and every insult sustained during life will leave some trace in it.

“Repeated damage caused by sunburn can lead to a variety of chronic skin problems from loss of elasticity to malignant melanoma.

“It is therefore essential to protect the sensitive skin of the youngest ones as it is more prone to damage which in long-term run can lead to significant problems in later age.”

The NHS has three pieces of advice for those spending time in the sun.

Stay hydrated, you should aim to drink around 1.5 – 2 litres or around 8 – 10 200ml glasses of fluid per day to stay hydrated.

That is if you are not spending time in hot environments, or when you are exercising or having increased your activity levels.

While you might not feel thirsty by the time you start feeling thirsty, you are already becoming dehydrated.

Use sunscreen to protect as there is no such thing as healthy tanning and they don’t have to cost the earth.

The NHS recommend a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30 (UVB protection) and a high star rating with 4 or 5 stars (UVA protection).

Reapply sunscreen regularly throughout the day including the ‘once a day’ and ‘water resistant’ products as sunscreen can rub, sweat or wash off.

When the sun is at its strongest, usually between 11am and 3pm from March to October, seek shade to make sure you don’t burn.

This can be by finding shade or covering up with clothing.

For more information visit the NHS website for some top tips on coping in hot weather.