With temperatures in Ireland set to reach as high as 29 degrees over this week, the Irish Cancer Society is urging the public to take measures to protect their skin and follow the SunSmart code.
Kevin O’Hagan, Cancer Prevention Manager with the Irish Cancer Society said, ‘with the onset of increasing temperatures, it is vital that people take precautions to reduce their risk of sun damage.
It is especially important to protect babies and children as much of the UV damage that leads to skin cancer takes place in the early years of life. Research has shown that getting sunburnt in childhood or adolescence can increase the risk of melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer. Tanned skin is damaged skin. The tan a child gets may fade but the damage remains.
By protecting children and young people’s skin when they are outdoors, you can reduce their risk of developing skin cancer in years to come. However, using sunscreen alone is not enough so make sure to follow the full SunSmart code to ensure maximum protection.’
The SunSmart Code recommends to seek shade when UV rays are at their strongest, generally between 11am and 3pm; cover up by wearing a collar-based shirt and long shorts - also wear a hat that provides shade to face, neck and ears; wear wraparound sunglasses which provide UV protection; use sunscreen SPF minimum 30 or higher, reapplying every two hours, check the UV index and finally, keep babies under six months out of the sun.
For more information on skin cancer or how to be SunSmart, visit www.cancer.ie/Sunsmart or contact the Cancer Nurseline on Freephone 1800 200 700.