HSE are reminding people to protect their skin as Met Éireann forecasts more sunny spells over the coming days.
With 74% of 10 to 17 year old's saying they have experienced sunburn at least once during the past year, the HSE National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) are advising people to be careful in the warm weather over the weekend. The risk of skin cancer is double as an adult if a child experiences sunburn more than 3 times, according to the HSE. Their SunSmart campaign informs people of the dangers of ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun and ways of protecting yourself from sunburn.
People are encouraged to remember the SunSmart 5 S’s, even when it’s cloudy:
- Slip on clothing: Cover skin as much as possible, wear long sleeves, collared t-shirts, clothes made from close-woven material that does not allow sunlight through
- Slop on broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB protection) sunscreen: Apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30+ for adults and 50+ for children, with high UVA protection and water-resistant. Reapply regularly. No sunscreen can provide 100% protection, it should be used alongside other protective measures such as clothing and shade.
- Slap on a wide-brimmed hat: Protect your face, ears and neck.
- Seek shade: Sit in the cover of trees to avoid direct sunlight. Use a sunshade on your buggy or pram. Keep babies and children out of direct sunlight.
- Slide on sunglasses: Guard your eyes against harm by wearing sunglasses with UV protection.
Dr. Carmel Mullaney, Consultant in Public Health Medicine and Director of the HSE’s Public Health Department says “With the warm weather forecast, people will have more opportunity to get outside and enjoy it. It is important to remember the sun isn't only strong abroad. It can be strong enough in Ireland to damage your skin and is strongest during the middle of the day, typically between 11am to 3pm, even through to the end of September. We want to remind everyone to be prepared and enjoy the outdoors safely by following the SunSmart 5S’s, to protect their skin and reduce their risk of skin cancer.”