Sun's not fun for everyone

By Connie Osborne Friday 18 July 2014 Updated: 18/07 10:02

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Buy photos » Sophie Baxter and Deborah Adams from Hopkins Pharmacy in Alcester are encouraging people to slap on the suncream and wear sunglasses during the warm weather, particularly with a heatwave forecast. Picture by Alex Bradbury 2914024ABR

RESIDENTS are being urged to stay safe in the sun as the Met Office warns of a heatwave.

Temperatures are expected to hit 29 Celsius today (Friday) and experts say that could be dangerous for the vulnerable.

Dr Rob Carr, from Public Health England, said: "While many people enjoy hot weather, high temperatures can be dangerous, especially for people who may be particularly vulnerable such as older people, young children and those with serious illnesses."

Heatwave warnings are triggered when the Met Office forecasts there is a 60 per cent chance of temperatures being high enough on at least two consecutive days and the intervening night to have a significant effect on health.

Staff at Hopkins Pharmacy in Alcester are also spreading the safe sun message. They teamed up with the All About Health programme to raise awareness of sun health after a report showed not all sun creams work at the SPF level they advertise.

SPF is used to calculate how long people can be exposed to the sun without getting burnt and the higher the SPF, the longer the protection it offers.

Pharmacist Michael Cathcart said: "People often believe a higher SPF will stop them getting that holiday tan but that’s not the case.

"Neither is it true that a high SPF means you don’t need to put as much on. You should apply your sunscreen 30 minutes before exposure and every two hours or after you’ve been in water, even if it’s a water-proof brand.

"You need to look for a sun cream with both UVA and UVB protection as both types of rays can damage skin. SPF levels start as low as two and go up to 100 but a higher SPF doesn’t mean you can lie in the sun all day with just one application."

Visit www.allabouthealth.org.uk for more information.

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