The summer is well and truly here and the school holidays are upon us – but it’s important for both children and adults to think about staying safe this summer. We encourage spending as much time being active outdoors as possible throughout August, but it’s also important to remember that too much direct exposure to the heat and the sun can lead to health complications. So, this summer, make sure you’re up to scratch with sun safety!
Did you know that 60% of the human body is made up of water? It’s vital that we keep it topped up! In fact, during the summer months, we should be aiming to drink at least 2 litres of water per day. If we do not drink enough, we can become dehydrated.
Dehydration is very common during the summer and, if you don’t act on the first signs, can lead to more serious problems. The first signs of dehydration include feeling thirsty, having dry mouth, lips and eyes, peeing less, and feeling tired, lightheaded or dizzy. So, to stay hydrated this summer, get into the habit of taking a bottle of water with you wherever you go.
Wearing sunglasses is particularly important on bright and clear days. Just 1 day in the sun could burn the eye’s cornea, and longer exposure can cause cataracts later on in life. However, this damage can be prevented by wearing sunglasses with 100% UV protection, as well as making sure you don’t look directly into the sun.
UV rays from the sun not only can damage our eyes, but can also harm our skin, causing sunburn, skin damage, and even skin cancer. The best way to prevent sun damage to the skin is to spend a limited amount of time in direct sunlight. When outdoors, staying in the shade will help to protect you from skin damage, and wearing lightweight clothing that covers your skin will also provide protection.
When out in the sun, it is important to wear sun cream which will help to protect the skin from UV rays. Sun cream varies in levels of protection, so look for the SPF (Sun Protection Factor) on bottles for guidance. It is advisable to use sun cream over SPF 30 and to also regularly top it up, especially if you are sweating. If you are swimming, you should wear waterproof sun cream as this will continue to protect your skin during and after time spent in the water.
Children and babies
Babies should be kept out of the sun as much as possible. Their skin is thinner and their melanin is underdeveloped, so they will burn a lot easier. Babies under 6 months also have too sensitive skin for sun cream. The best advice for young children is to dress them in lightweight clothing which covers their skin and keep them shaded as much as possible.
Babies over 6 months can have sun cream applied and this should be done 30mins before going outside since it takes time to work. Toddlers and children should also keep to the shade as much as possible but, when out in the sun, should use suncream that is over SPF 30 and this should be regularly topped up.
Check out our other summer Lockers for fun ideas on ways to stay active whilst enjoying the beautiful summer weather. Just make sure you follow these tips to ensure you’re staying safe whilst having fun in the sun!