The country might be happily enjoying a sunshine-filled week but Irish pharmacists have urged Irish parents to be especially mindful of their children beneath the blistering sun.
The Irish Pharmacist Union revealed that parents should take extra care this week as temperate set to rise above 25°C.
Children’s skin is especially susceptible to sunburn and pharmacists have warned parents to cover their kids up with loose fitting t-shirts, hats and sunglasses.
Newborn babies or those less than six months old should be kept out of direct sunlight.
Daragh Connolly, Vice-President of the IPU, says, “It takes only a few blistering sunburns during childhood to double a person’s lifetime chance of developing melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer.
“Children don’t have to be at the pool, beach or on vacation to get too much sun. Their skin needs protection from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays whenever they’re outdoors. It can be very distressing for a child if they get sunburn or overexposure to the sun as it can cause pain, itchiness, blistering, headache, fever and chills.”
The organisation has warned parents to protect their children with sunscreen that is at least SPF 30 and to apply 30 minutes before going outdoors or into water.
Mr Connolly said, “With so many sun cream brands on the market, it is important to choose one that suits your child’s skin type. Your local pharmacist can provide advice on what to use.
“If a child does get too much sun, it is best to consult with your pharmacist straight away as it may be necessary to give a child some mild medication for pain relief.”
Considering the number of overcast days Ireland experiences, most people look forward to the summer, when there are greater chances of sunny days to plan outdoor activiites. If you have ever pressed the palm of your hand against the lens of a lit torch, you'll know that light can penetrate human skin, but the bulb in a torch only generates harmless visible light.
Health & Wellbeing
There are many great things about summer time, but sunburn isn't one of them. Even though we all know to wear sunscreen on every iota of exposed skin, it's still possible to get a bad burn without realising and spend the following weeks itching, peeling and fretting about skin damage.
When John Breen's kids head outdoors on a hot summer's day, they are slathered in protective suncream. The reason for this is both simple and extremely serious: John himself has had to fight long and hard to deal with the consequences of skin cancer.