People in Milton Keynes urged to stay ‘sun safe’ this summer

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With the school holidays about to begin, Dr Nicola Smith from NHS Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group has sent a timely reminder urging people to take care when enjoying the sunshine.

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.

NHS Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has issued a list of top tips to keep people in Milton Keynes 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 children or pets in cars parked in the sun

· 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 eight in 10 cases of melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, could be prevented through enjoying the sun safely and avoiding sunburn.

Dr Nicola Smith said: “Due to 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 alter their sunbathing habits and cover up vulnerable skin in the midday sun so we can all enjoy the sun more 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