Slip, Slop, Slap, Slide, Seek – the 5 ‘Ss’ of Sun Safety!

First published June 2017; updated May 2019

5 ESSENTIALS TO PACK FOR YOUR HOLIDAYS

  • Sunscreen: choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen (offering both UVA and UVB protection), with a SPF of at least 30+ for adults and 50+ for children, and which is water-resistant.
  • Sun-protective clothing that is dark and tightly woven (when you hold it up to the light, you shouldn’t see any light coming through).
  • A wide brimmed hat.
  • UV protective sunglasses.
  • Portable shade such as an umbrella.

MOST PEOPLE DON’T APPLY SUNSCREEN CORRECTLY. HERE’S HOW IT’S DONE:

  • Correct amount: you should apply at least 1 teaspoon to each body part – Head/Face/Neck ; Each Arm ; Each Leg ; Your Front ; Your Back.
  • Correct locations: don’t forget your ears, your neck, your nose, the tops of your feet and (if your hair is thinning) your scalp!
  • Correct timing: apply sunscreen at least 20-30 minutes before you go out in the sun.
  • Correct frequency: reapply sunscreen frequently (at least every 2 hours), and after exercising, sweating, swimming, or after towel drying.
  • Correct use: don’t be lulled into a false sense of security! Sunscreen should not be your main method of sun protection – you should also seek shade (particularly between 11am-3pm when UV rays are strongest) and wear sun protective clothing.

5 STEPS TO TREATING SUNBURN

  • Use a moisturiser to help soothe sunburned skin. Try storing it in the fridge so it feels cool on application.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking extra water.
  • Consider taking aspirin or ibuprofen to reduce swelling, redness and discomfort.
  • If your skin blisters, leave the blisters intact to help the skin heal and to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Take extra care to protect your skin while it heals by avoiding the sun and wearing protective clothing.

We want everyone in Ireland to learn to Protect & Inspect their skin! Read our short guide, written with hospital-based dermatologists, to checking your skin.   

Click for more about Protect & Inspect!

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