Slip, Slop, Slap –  Sun Safety Advice from Down Under

Last week’s sunny weather led to a boost for UK retailers, as families rushed out to buy paddling pools, garden toys and ice creams to enjoy at home.

Now the weather has taken a turn for the better, and with many of us enjoying more time outdoors, it’s never too early for a reminder about the importance of sun safety.

Of course, everyone who’s exposed to UV light is at risk of getting sunburn, but children are more vulnerable than others.

According to data from the International Burn Injury Database (iBID) 130 children were admitted to an NHS Burns Service experiencing sunburn in 2017.

This does not include the likely hundreds more who were treated in A&E departments for other sun-related conditions, such as heat stroke or dehydration.  That’s more than ten children each month (more, when you consider that these injures were consolidated in the summer months).

So, how can parents remember the quickest route to sun safety and encourage children to help look after themselves and prevent sunburn in a fun way?

We were recently reminded of a brilliant health campaign regarding safety in the sun that was launched in Australia in 1981.

Slip! Slop! Slap! Is a fun, family friendly reminder of how to stay safe in the sun. Featuring a cheerful seagull in board shorts, t-shirt and hat, the jingle is catchy and certainly appeals to children.

Watch the video:

Today’s advice

The NHS’ advice and guidance for sun care for babies and children is worth reminding ourselves of at any time of year, but especially with the summer months approaching.

Babies sunder six months should be kept out of direct sunlight.

During warm, sunny weather in the UK, children of all ages should:

  • Cover up with long-sleeved shirts and long trousers or skirts
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat that covers the face, neck and ears
  • Wear sunglasses that protect against UVA and UVB rays
  • Use sunscreen (at least SPF15) and reapply it regularly throughout the day
  • Spend time in the shade, such as under a tree or umbrella, or in a sun tent (particularly during the middle of the day)

There is also an excellent guide to sun safety available on here.

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