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Staying safe in the sun

Skincare product provider Deb has launched an education programme to warn children and parents about the harmful effects of UV

Posted by Hannah Vickers | April 28, 2017 | Health & wellbeing

Deb –  provider of skincare products – is ensuring that the sun safety of pupils is maximised by providing schools with effective sunscreen solutions and a comprehensive education programme. 

Children and young adults spend at least 1.5 hours outside per school day, more if involved in sport. This is often at lunchtime when UV rays are at their strongest. It is crucial that whilst at school they remain protected from the harmful effects that the sun poses. 

Deb is alerting schools – who have a duty of care to safeguard the health of their pupils – to be aware of the daily UV Index. When the UV level reaches three or above, protection is required. Extra protection is also required for children with fair skin who burn easily, or have a family history of skin cancer. It has been estimated that 40% of all school children have arrived home with sunburn sustained from school.

Applying effective products at the right time is pivotal in combatting skin cancer, and this starts in schools. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that for each child, at least one teaspoon of sunscreen is applied to each arm, leg, front of body, back of body and face. It should be applied at least 15 minutes before initial exposure, and reapplied every two to three hours. Sun exposure in the first 15 years of life can contribute significantly to the lifetime risks of skin cancer, so it crucial that pupils are effectively protected.  

It is also essential that a ‘broad spectrum’ sunscreen is chosen, as it provides protection against UVA and UVB rays. However, there is often uncertainty about what Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is appropriate. For pupils, it is recommended that either SPF30 or SPF50 is used. Sunscreens with a lower SPF such as SPF15 can only filter out 93% of incoming UVB rays, whereas SPF30 and SPF50 sunscreens are able to filter out 97% and 98% respectively. 

Skin cancer isn’t unstoppable – 90% of skin cancer deaths could be prevented - Paul Jakeway, Marketing Director at Deb

“Parents must feel reassured that their children are effectively protected from the sun when at school, and the only way this can happen is by providing educational establishments with the correct sunscreen solutions and abundance of teaching material. Skin cancer isn’t unstoppable – 90% of skin cancer deaths could be prevented,” comments Paul Jakeway, Marketing Director at Deb.

Deb is also launching a campaign of activity nationwide to help generate a broad awareness of why active sun protection is so important in schools. As part of this campaign, Deb is offering a range of resources, including guidelines of how to become a sun safe school, brochures and awareness posters to schools, parents and children to provide education on the importance of sun safety. 

One of these tools is a Sun Heroes Dispenser, which has been designed for nurseries and primary schools. It is a brightly coloured sunscreen dispenser with the message “Be a sun hero, wear sun cream”, to encourage children to apply sunscreen at regular intervals throughout the day. Deb has also created a Sun Heroes video to accompany the dispenser, as well as an activity book which explains why, how and when protection is required.

As part of a school’s duty of care, it is also advised that each school implements a sun safe policy and communicates the message effectively to parents. Educational establishments should also ensure that they conduct classes on the topic of sun safety to help pupils learn how to stay safe in the sun.

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