The Met Office has today (25 June) issued a level 2 warning for heatwave conditions during this week and NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is reminding people to take care when enjoying the sunshine.
There is a 60% chance of heatwave conditions between 9am Tuesday 26 and 6pm Thursday 28 June. Keeping active in the fresh air is good news for our health but exposure of unprotected skin to the sun’s harmful rays can cause serious problems including sunburn, heatstroke and even cancer.
The CCG has issued some top tips to keep people in the Sandwell and West Birmingham area safe in the sun:
- Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration in hot weather
- Apply sunscreen with a factor of at least 15 and preferably higher
- Use sunscreen to protect babies and children, and ensure they have plenty of fluids when outside in the open air
- Make sure children do not become overheated or dehydrated when indoors
- Avoid sunbathing between 11am and 3pm when the sun is at its hottest
- If travelling by car, take drinking water for the journey and ensure children do not become overheated
- Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
- Wear a hat and light, loose-fitting clothes, preferably cotton
- Use sun glasses that offer your eyes 100 UV protection.
Statistics show that poor sunbathing habits are causing higher levels of malignant melanoma, which is one of the least common but most serious types of skin cancer.
In the UK more than 8 in 10 cases of melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, could be prevented through enjoying the sun safely and avoiding sunburn.
Prof Nick Harding from Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG said:
“Because of the British climate it can be very tempting to bask in the sun at every available opportunity. While this is perfectly understandable, it also carries a risk. So, I’m urging people to make sure they protect their skin with sun cream and hats and avoid the direct sun between 11am and 3pm so we can all enjoy the sun safely. Far from trying to stop people from enjoying the sunshine, we just want people to take a few simple precautions to ensure that they can make the most of the weather safely.”
For more information on skin cancer, visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/cancer-of-the-skin