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Safety in the sun

The amount of sun your child is exposed to may increase his or her risk of skin cancer later in life. Do the following to protect your child.

  • Keep your child out of the sun between 11 am and 3 pm when the sun is highest and most dangerous.
  • Keep babies under the age of six months out of the sun altogether.
  • Make the most of shade, e.g trees.
  • Don’t let your child run around all day in a swimsuit or without any clothes on.
  • Cover your child up in loose baggy cotton clothes such as an oversized T-shirt with sleeves.
  • In particular, protect your child’s shoulders and back of neck when playing, as these are the most common areas for sunburn.
  • Let your child wear a ‘legionnaire’s hat’ or a floppy hat with a wide brim that shades the face and neck.

  • Cover exposed parts of your child’s skin with a sunscreen, even on cloudy or overcast days. Use one with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or above and which is effective against UVA and UVB. Re-apply often.
  • Protect your child’s eyes with sunglasses with an ultraviolet filter, made to British Standard 2724.
  • Use waterproof sunblock if your child is swimming.

We are indebted to Health Promotion England for their help in compiling this section.