Sunday 25 August 2019

Sales of sun cream rocket as thousands hit the beach

Fun in the sun: Denis Blonskii plays with his daughter Darya (2) at Donabate beach in north Dublin. Photo: Mark Condren
Fun in the sun: Denis Blonskii plays with his daughter Darya (2) at Donabate beach in north Dublin. Photo: Mark Condren

Allison Bray and Gabija Gataveckaite

Sales of sun cream have sky-rocketed as the mercury soared to almost 30C on the hottest day of the year.

Thursday marked the peak of the mini-heatwave here in which the mercury hit 29.2C just north of Tralee, according to Met Éireann.

Although highest temperatures hovered around 24C yesterday, cloud cover kept them from soaring any higher.

But that didn't stop thousands of people from taking to the beaches to soak up the sun and enjoy the warm temperatures yesterday before we return to a more 'normal' Atlantic regime tomorrow with temperatures not expected to exceed 17C to 20C.

Lidl reported a 387pc hike in sales of sun cream over the past few days, which is good news, according to the Marie Keating Foundation.

Helen Forristal, the cancer charity's director of nursing, said while people were heeding the warnings over the dangers of the sun, many were still unaware or in denial about how lethal the sun rays could be - especially for children.

"Irish people don't realise that their skin is high risk and susceptible to burning and being at a higher risk of developing skin cancer, especially melanoma," she said of the deadly form of skin cancer that is often fatal.

Those with either Type 1 or Type 2 skin - pale with red hair and freckles or pale skin with light or blue eyes - are at highest risk of developing skin cancer. Yet many people falsely believe they need to apply sun cream or cover up only when it's hot or the sun is out, which is not the case, she said.

For that reason, skin cancer experts are advising people to check the UV (ultraviolet) index daily, which is available on the Met Éireann website.

The UV index has been very high over the past two days, she noted.

"The UV index in Dublin today is seven. Anything over three is considered high risk for sun damage," she said last night.

The highest temperature recorded yesterday was 24.8C in Casement Weather Station and it hit 24C in the Phoenix Park.

And while the outlook for today is for another warm day with highs of between 20C and 25C, the wall-to-wall sunshine of late will be replaced with a mix of cloud and sunny spells with some heavy and possibly thundery showers, especially in the east.

Although the temperatures are hitting over 40C in mainland Europe, Ireland has a long way to go to reach record temperatures.

The highest shaded air temperature ever recorded in Ireland was way back on June 26, 1887, in Kilkenny Castle, Co. Kilkenny at a sweltering 33.3C, while the coldest temperature ever recorded was even further back in January 16, 1881 when it reached -19.1C in Markree, Co Sligo.

Irish Independent

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