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Stay safe, have fun in the sun this summer

Media Release
16 December 2010
For immediate release

Stay safe, have fun in the sun this summer

As the Kiwi summer heats up and people are spending more time outside, Plunket and the Cancer Society are urging families to have fun but stay safe in the sun.

Sue Campbell, Plunket’s National Child Safety Advisor, says while a few minutes of gentle sunlight is good for children, infants and toddlers in particular, can quickly burn in the sun as they have very delicate skin.

‘Gentle’ sunlight is the light during the early morning and later afternoon through the summer months, and at most times during the winter, unless you are at high altitude or near reflective surfaces such as snow or water.

“We all love the summer weather but we need to remember to slip, slop, slap and wrap,” says Sue. “Children also learn by example so seeing you wear a hat outside and covering up is the best way to help them develop good habits.”

Cancer Society’s Skin Cancer Advisor Dr Judith Galtry says New Zealand summers can be a fantastic time for family but the sun can be harsh.

“Sunburn can cause painful burns, lead to long-term skin damage and a higher risk of skin cancer, including melanoma, later in life. People often don’t realise you can still get burnt on a cloudy day in New Zealand.”

You can protect your child from sun damage and sunburn by:
• making sure young children always wear hats with wide brims or caps with flaps that protect their face, neck and ears when they are outside
• keeping them protected with clothes that cover their arms, legs and bodies
• restricting the amount of time they spend playing in direct sunlight - the hours between 11am and 4pm are the most dangerous
• using sunscreen on exposed parts of the body. Remember sunscreens need to be reapplied regularly, including after swimming and they do have an expiry date
• keeping babies in the shade at all times as their young skin is very vulnerable and can burn quickly
• protecting children in prams and buggies. Keep their eyes shaded from the sun, their skin covered and use a sun shade on the buggy whenever possible.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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