UV rays cause eye damage, premature ageing and skin damage leading to skin cancer — and childhood UV exposure can be related to increases in cancer. As parents, we also battle with kids who don’t want to sit still for suncream application and want to play in the sun, in the pool or on the beach all day without a break. (Getting babies and toddlers to wear hast is also a struggle, as some mums noted.) How do you make sure they stay sunsafe?
At our #SunSafeMetOffice Twitter chat we got tips and advice on sun and UV protection and learned about the Met Office app that lets you check UV levels before you leave the house. The chat was sponsored by the Met Office, the UK’s National Weather Service, and featured the meteorologist Clare Nasir.
Download the app (available on all app stores) to check UV levels in your area right now:
Check out these top tips from parents, Clare Nasir and the Met Office to stay safe in the sun.
Tips from mums and dads
Kids are never too young for suncream, sun hats or sunglasses. If they’re out in the sun, they need to be protected @Tantrums2Smiles
We always make sure we rinse before reapplying suncream as the salt can cause allergic reactions @BubblesSwimSE19
If applying sunscreen on a sandy beach, take baby talc with you. It dries the skin and makes the sand fall off first! @ChelseaMamma
Get them a suncream they like such as a spray, roll on or nice-smelling cream @JHowze
Why not carry a smaller version of your regular suncream in your bag for those just-in-case moments? @KatCandyFloss
It’s so scarily easy to get burnt. Reapplying is key along with education so the children find it fun yet important @iantudor321
This is my fave from the holiday, first dip in a pool. All sun creamed up with a sun hat on! @ChicGeekDiary
I hate school policy that they can’t help apply cream.My son has a @solar_buddies [child-friendly sunscreen applicator] he loves it & it’s easy to use @ChammyIRL
Don’t forget your eyes! Good quality sunglasses are so important to prevent eye damage from the sun @AnnieMay64
Suncream is part of the morning routine. Pop it all over, let it dry then get dressed. Less sticky mess @mumdadplus4
As my son is a bit older he knows no cream no play! @nat_zin85
Stylish ways to protect against UV
— Anila (@anilahussain2) June 27, 2017
My son has a REALLY cool bracelet that changes colour in UV levels are high so he knows he needs suncream! It’s called UV BUDDY, clear beads that turn to purple in UV [rays] @Luckysammyg
I love the UV swimsuits for the beach. I still use suncream of course but these cover much more than a normal swimsuit @Tantrums2Smiles
UV questions answered
UV rays and water
Q. How can you best protect yourself in the water? I presume UV rays will penetrate through? We use water resistant lotion @angep1969
A. UV rays are reflected by water – so if you are on the surface you can burn much quicker. Use water resistant lotion and reapply @MetOffice
How do know levels of UV rays?
Q. How can we tell when the UV levels are really high? @inverleny
Met Office guidance from @clarenasir and the @MetOffice
Use a cream without parabens or mineral oil and SPF15 or above — Clare
It’s best to get sunscreen with at least 4 star UVA protection and SPF15 or above to protect against UVB
Reminder: During Autumn you can still burn
If UV is moderate or high, use sun protection. Here are some tips.
You should absolutely top up every time you get out of the water – after drying off
The research has shown awareness is low in the UK with higher incidents of skin cancer
Using the Met Office App
Found out the UV levels in seconds with the Met Office app @theincredibleblog
Clouds don’t stop UV so check UV forecast on the app. UV isn’t only high on sunny days. @MetOffice
I must admit this was new to me this week. Now I check everyday @Edspire
The last words
Kids are never too old for suncream, sun hats or sunglasses. If they are out in the sun they need to be protected @Tantrums2Smiles
Got other tips for staying safe in the sun and protecting against UV rays? Leave them below in the comments!