UK Heatwave – Sun Safety for Children
As the weather becomes hotter it is important for you and your child to wear sun cream and take precautions when outside. Here are some tips to keep your child safe in the sun:
- Encourage your child to play in the shade – for example, under trees – especially between 11am and 3pm, when the sun is at its strongest.
- Keep babies under the age of six months out of direct sunlight, especially around midday.
- Cover exposed parts of your child’s skin with sunscreen, even on cloudy or overcast days. Use one that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or above and is effective against UVA and UVB. Don’t forget to apply it to their shoulders, nose, ears, cheeks, and the tops of their feet. Reapply often throughout the day.
- Be especially careful to protect your child’s shoulders and the back of their neck when they’re playing, as these are the most common areas for sunburn.
- Cover your child up in loose cotton clothes, such as an oversized T-shirt with sleeves.
- Get your child to wear a floppy hat with a wide brim that shades their face and neck.
- Protect your child’s eyes with sunglasses that meet the British Standard (BSEN 1836:2005) and carry the “CE” mark – check the label.
- If your child is swimming, use a waterproof sunblock of factor 15 or above. Reapply after towelling.
(Source NHS Choices)
What is a heatwave and how is it declared?
An average temperature of 30°C by day and 15°C overnight for at least two consecutive days would trigger a heat-health watch alert (this figure varies slightly around the UK). These temperatures can have a significant effect on people’s health if they last for at least two days and the night in between.
The Met Office has a warning system that issues alerts if a heatwave is likely see MetOffice for more.
Level one is the minimum alert and is in place from 1 June until 15 September (which is the period that heatwave alerts are likely to be raised):
- the minimum alert simply means that people should be aware of what to do if the alert level is raised
- if a level two alert is issued, there is a high chance that a heatwave will occur within the next few days
- the level three alert is when a heatwave is happening
- the level four alert is when a heatwave is severe