#SunAwarenessWeek: 7 ways to protect yourself in the sun

Today marks the start of #SunAwarenessWeek and as the UK enjoys another heatwave, we asked Public Health England for their top tips on how to stay safe in the sun.

1. Drink plenty of water.

Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and avoid excess alcohol, caffeine or drinks with high sugar. If you’re drinking fruit juice you should dilute with water.

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2. Wear suitable clothing.

Wear suitable clothing that provides sun protection. Wear a wide-brimmed hat that shades the face, neck and ears, a long-sleeved top, trousers and long skirts with fabrics that don’t allow sunlight through.

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3. Protect your eyes.

Protect your eyes because looking at direct sunlight can cause permanent eye damage. Wear sunglasses with wrap-around lenses or wide arms that don’t allow sunlight through. These should feature the EC Mark and European Standard EN 1836: 2005.

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4. Spend time in the shade.

Spend time in the shade when the sun is strongest. In the UK, this is generally between 11am and 3pm but remember sun damage can also happen when it’s cloudy.

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5. Use sun screen with an SPF of least 15.

Use sun screen with an SPF of least 15. Remember, babies and children have much more sensitive skin and damage caused by repeated exposure to the sun increases the risk of skin cancer developing later in life.

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6. Look out for others.

Look out for others – keep an eye on older or vulnerable people and make sure they’re able to keep cool. Be alert and call a doctor or social services if a frail or vulnerable person requires further help and ensure that babies, children, vulnerable people and pets are not left in stationary cars.

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7. Keep your living space cool.

Keep your living space cool, this is especially important for infants, older or vulnerable people or those with long-term health conditions.

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Further information about staying safe in the sun can be found on NHS Choices.

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