PARENTS have been warned to be on high alert for a summer bug that could prove deadly.
Temperatures are rising this weekend, which means more time in the sun.
But with that comes the risk of skin cancer, and experts say children in particular need to be protected in hot weather.
Children have sensitive skin and are therefore more prone to sunburn, especially if they don’t have the right sunscreen.
Speaking to The Sun, Dr. Sarah Carlick is urging parents to take sun protection seriously.
She warned that even though we’re not yet in the hottest summer months, it can be easy to dismiss the power of the sun.
“Once sunburned as a child, it can increase your risk of skin cancer by over 50 percent as an adult.
“Unfortunately, the damage is over, but there are ways you can protect your kids from sun damage,” she said.
dr Carlick said one of the best ways to protect your little ones is by using a high SPF sunscreen.
“This must be at least a factor of 50 and should be reapplied after a few hours.
“Stay out of the sun between 11am and 3am and if you can’t make sure sunscreen is handy.
“Make sure it’s a reputable brand and that there’s sunscreen on every part of the meat that will be exposed to the sun.”
The protection expert said severe sunburn is a child protection issue, stressing that even a single burn could increase your child’s risk of illness.
dr Carlick stressed that severe sunburn is when the burn is so bad it blisters.
However, she said that all sun damage could be fatal.
She explained, “If someone’s really blushing or pinking and doing that maybe once or twice a year, they’re constantly increasing their risk of this skin cancer growing.
“You might be like, ‘Oh, they’re just a little pink, it doesn’t matter,’ but they really are.
“It builds up year after year”.
MAKE IT A ROUTINE
The guru also urged parents to put sunscreen on their children before they go to school or out during the day – and make it part of their daily routine.
This is especially important, she said, when attending events.
Parents should take extra care when little ones go to parties where face painting may be taking place, she said.
This is because if you haven’t applied sunscreen, you can burn through the color.
What is sunburn and how do we get a tan?
All skin types can be damaged by the sun, so it’s important to understand what it is and how it affects our skin.
Experts from the charity Skcin said sunburn is a reaction to UV rays and a clear indication that you have damaged your skin.
They explained: “Skin color is dependent on a pigment called melanin. This is produced by specialized cells called melanocytes.
“Melanocytes produce packets of melanin called melanosomes and transfer them to the skin cells of the epidermis.
“Melanocytes are found everywhere in the skin. All breeds have the same number of melanocytes. However, black skin has more melanosomes, which provides better sun protection and greater pigmentation.”
When it comes to sunburn, these are the key points you need to know:
- A blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence more than doubles a person’s chance of developing melanoma later in life.
- A person’s risk of developing melanoma also doubles if they have had five or more
more sunburns at any age.
- The pattern of sun exposure thought to lead to melanoma is that of brief, intense sun exposure, such as blistering sunburn—rather than years of tanning.
- Some people can get sunburned after less than 15 minutes of sun exposure!
Children should also wear a sun hat and t-shirts to ensure their shoulders and chest are covered, she added.
“Sit in the shade for extra protection, and you can even buy clothing with built-in UV protection.
“Use umbrellas if you can’t find shade and always have a small bottle of sunscreen in your bag.
“Just like you take your purse or hand sanitizer with you. It’s handy to have a small one in your pocket.
“If the weather changes, you can always protect your child,” she said.
Sarah’s warning comes after a 40-year-old woman recently recounted how she was diagnosed with skin cancer after suffering from childhood sunburn.
As a child, Emma Checkley was on holiday in Greece when her forehead and arms developed blisters.
Forty years after the trip, the mother of two was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma.
She had to have the cancer removed from her forehead and her experience has made her more aware when it comes to using sunscreen with her young daughters.
“Their aversion to sunscreen has gone and when they complain about sunscreen I’ve said it really matters and now you see why,” she told the BBC.
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https://www.the-sun.com/health/5278435/urgent-warning-parents-common-summer-mistake-fatal/ Urgent warning to parents about common summertime mistakes that can prove fatal