Stay safe in the sun
Sunburn during childhood can increase the risk of skin cancer later on in life, according to Cancer Research UK (www.cancerresearchuk.org). Ensuring that children stay safe in the sun will also help set good habits for the future. NB babies under six months should always be kept out of direct sunlight. During school holidays, parents can monitor sun protection. Apply sunscreen with four- or five-star UV A protection and SPF 15-30 liberally every two hours and whenever children come out of water. From 11am to 3pm, children should cover up, wear wide brimmed or legionnaire style hats and stay in the shade.
However, children are at school for much of the summer. Cancer Research UK has produced comprehensive SunSmart schools resources, including guidelines for creating a Sun Protection Policy tailored to the needs of each school. Visit www.sunsmart.org.uk/schools for details and downloadable leaflets.
Parents may wish to check their school’s policy. One popular idea was a sports day with a SunSmart emphasis.
Eyes are highly sensitive to UV damage, particularly children’s, which let through more UV rays because they are not fully developed. Excessive exposure can lead to photokeratitis – a painful, sunburn-like condition where eyes become red, swollen and watery.
There is also a higher risk of cataracts or macular degeneration in later life, according to the Think About Your Eyes campaign (www.thinkaboutyoureyes.co.uk). Choose sunglasses with plastic or polycarbonate lenses, preferably wraparound, which carry the CE mark and the code BS EN ISO 12312-1:2013.
Find a good range at Baby Banz (www.babybanz.com). People of all ages should also get prescription glasses or contact lenses with UV protection and wear a hat.
• Download the free World UV app for iPhone and Android, created by the British Association of Dermatologists with the Met Office, for a daily UV forecast.
Consider special clothing with a UV protection factor of 50+. White cotton has a UVPF of 5-7, so putting an ordinary T-shirt over swim- or beachwear is relatively ineffective. Specialist range now offer clothing with UVPF 50+, and although the garments do not cover from top to toe, they do offer more protection in vulnerable areas. Our young testers were keen on these ranges:
SAND DOLLAR www.sanddollarswim.com
UVPF 50 rash vests and swimwear for ages three to 13. Our five-year-old tester loved the peacock swimsuit, £44, with a high neck at the back and capped sleeves.
Stylish designs, including Breton stripes, for babies to 13-plus. The boys’ neon stripe rash vest, £39, and matching shorts, £38, were a hit with beach combing 12-year-olds.
This multi-brand website features top labels such as Animal, O’Neill and Billabong, many of which offer UVPF 50+ items, up to age 16. Our teen tester loved the Roxy capped sleeve rash vest, £15.99.
BEACH BODY PLAN TOP UP
Make time to treat yourself Louise’s tip this week is to be nice to yourself. ‘Reward yourself with something that makes you feel good: treat yourself to a bunch of fragrant flowers or scented bath oil. Plan a fun outing for the weekend – or go shopping for a gorgeous outfit to show off your new figure.’
• If you missed Weeks 1-4 of the Beach Body Plan, find them online at you.co.uk and www.louiseparker.uk.com/youbeachbody
A colleague whose eyes reacted dramatically to make-up recommends Avène Soothing Eye Contour Cream (£9.50 for 10 ml at www.boots.com). ‘My skin has become increasingly sensitive to cosmetics and cleansers over the years. Recently I put on some eyeshadow for an event and within a few hours my eyes became prickly, then itchy and red. The next day, they were so sensitive I had to wear dark glasses. My local pharmacist gave me antihistamine and recommended I start using the Avène eye cream several times a day. My eyes felt soothed instantly, and three days later I have come out from behind my shades.’ She is now exploring this French range, which is formulated with Avène thermal spring water and has products for sensitive, intolerant and allergic skins. A skin diagnosis questionnaire online at www.avene.co.uk helps you choose products. (NB The range does contain mineral oil and synthetic chemicals, which may not suit everyone.)