You’re protecting your kids from the sun, but are you protecting yourself?

Platypus

Wait, let’s do mummy’s cream too – me

I read a report today that struck a real chord with me. It seems that lots of parents across the UK are really careful with their children’s skin in strong sunshine but somehow forget to protect themselves. This is me, and I’m kicking myself right now for being so stupid!

According to a new survey by Cancer Research UK and NIVEA SUN, a worrying 40% of UK parents of children aged 16 or under admit they often forget to protect their skin in strong sun because they are concentrating on protecting their children instead. We all want to be around to look out for our kids for as long as possible, right? So why are we so silly?!

It’s not down to lack of knowledge. According to the findings, 85% of parents are aware that too much exposure to UV radiation from the sun can increase their risk of skin cancer, yet just 27% of parents surveyed said they always apply sun protection to their own skin.

For me, it’s just shortsightedness – I’m focussing on the kids’ safety and forgetting my own. Not every time, but more than I should. I don’t burn easily, but that’s no excuse. Safety matters.

NIVEA SUN is working with Cancer Research UK to promote key sun safety messaging through an advertising campaign which will highlight simple tips that people can follow to enjoy the sun safely:

  • Spend time in the shade if your shadow is shorter than you. If your shadow is shorter than you are, then the sun is strong. During the UK summer, the sun is at its strongest between 11am and 3pm
  • Wear a hat, t-shirt and sunglasses when the sun’s strong. Wide brimmed hats or foreign legion style caps are best
  • Cancer Research UK recommends you use at least factor 15 sunscreen with a high star rating. Sunscreen rubs off easily if you sweat, swim or change clothes. So whether you’re in the UK or abroad, when the sun is strong remember to apply generously and reapply regularly

For me, this is a wake up call. On Sunday, Mark and I were heading out with the kids – he’d done their cream and put on their hats, and had just finished applying his own. I was still sending an email so I grabbed the cream and chucked it in my bag to do ‘when I got a minute’. Then I stopped, remembered the stats, remembered that chances are I wouldn’t get round to it if I didn’t do it right then, so I took just a minute and applied my own cream.

And that’s my rule from now on. Whenever we leave the house, instead of applying cream carefully to the kids and then only managing a quick sweep across my nose, I’m going to make sure the kids, Mark and I are all well protected every single time. Will you do the same?

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Comments

  1. says

    So pleased to ready your blog. We have been selling sun protection swimwear at The Beach Factory for ten years this summer and the biggest growth area is adults UV. Let me know if you want to do a product review on UV swimwear for adults if you are off on holiday.

  2. says

    Great post and it rings so true. I did exactly as you described last week on holiday – I now have a sore back and it was just because I was so busy looking after the kids, I forgot about me.