School Council have discussed the importance of being safe in the sun and have issued this guidance based on information given by Cancer Research UK
Whatever your age, the best way to enjoy the sun safely and protect your skin from sunburn is to use a combination of shade, clothing and sunscreen.
When the sun is strong:
Spend time in the shade, especially between 11am and 3pm in the UK
Cover up with clothes, a hat and sunglasses.
And use a sunscreen with a protection level of at least SPF15 and 4 stars. Use it generously and reapply regularly.
One of the best ways to protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays is to spend some time in the shade.
You can find or create shade in many different ways. For example:
- Trees and foliage
- Umbrellas and parasols
- Canopies and awnings
- Tents and shelter
- Going indoors
Spending time in the shade is a great way to protect your skin when the sun is strong. But UV rays can go through some fabrics and reflect off the ground so it’s still important to think about clothing and sunscreen.
Along with shade, another way to protect your skin from the sun is with clothing, a wide-brimmed hat and good quality sunglasses.
The more skin that’s covered by your clothing, the better the protection you’re getting. Choose clothing that’s loose-fitting and deeper in colour. Also look for materials with a close weave- as a guide hold the material up to check you can’t see through the fabric. Clothing that’s dry also provides more protection than if it’s wet. This is particularly the case for cotton clothes.
Hats are great for protecting the whole face and head. Choose a wide-brimmed hat for the most protection. A ‘legionnaire’ style hat that has flaps around the ears and back of the neck also offers good protection.
When choosing sunglasses look for one of the following:
- ‘CE Mark’ and British Standard
- UV 400 label
- 100% UV protection written on the label or sticker
Sunscreens will not protect us completely from sun damage on their own. However, they can be useful for protecting the parts of skin we can’t shade or cover. This is why we recommend using sunscreens together with shade or clothing to avoid getting too much UV exposure.
We recommend buying sunscreens with a:
- Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15 (UVB protection)
- High star rating with at least 4 stars (UVA protection)
- UVA protection can also be indicated by the letters ‘UVA’ in a circle which indicates that it meets the EU standard.
Tips for using sunscreen properly
No sunscreen will give the protection it claims unless you apply it properly.
- Make sure you put enough sunscreen on – people often apply much less than they need to. When your risk of burning is high, ensure that all exposed skin is thoroughly covered in sunscreen.
- Reapply sunscreen regularly. Some products are designed to stay on better than others, but beware of sunscreen rubbing, sweating or washing off.
- Use sunscreen together with shade and clothing to avoiding getting caught out by sunburn.
- Don’t be tempted to spend longer in the sun than you would without sunscreen.
- Check your sunscreen has not expired before you use it.