Top tips for staying safe in the sun

  1. Choose a sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least 30 and a UVA rating of at least 4 stars.
  2. Choose sunglasses with built-in UV protection.
  3. Stay in the shade between 11am and 3pm. This is when the sun is at its strongest.
  4. Keep babies and young children out of the sun.
  5. Put on sunscreen often during the day. Especially after swimming and sweating.
  6. Wear a hat and long sleeve clothing to protect your skin.
  7. Do not use tanning salons and sunbeds.
  8. Drink plenty of water during the day.
  9. Treat sunburn with a moisturising cream or after sun. Avoid further sun exposure.
  10. Tell your GP if you notice any new moles or changes to moles on your skin.

Swimming safely in Southend's Sea

When the weather is hot you may go for a swim in the sea. If you do, always follow these tips:

  • always check the tide times.
  • if you are walking on the mud, make sure you are back by low tide or soon after
  • tell people where you are going, and the time you will return
  • always carry a way of contacting the Coastguard
  • wear footwear to protect against cuts from seashells

If you or someone else is in difficulty, dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.

Why do we need to stay safe in the sun?

Sunlight is needed for boosting the body's levels of vitamin D. This contributes towards:

  • healthy bones
  • a healthy heart
  • a strong immune system

Sunlight contains ultraviolet (UV) radiation in the form of UVA and UVB.

UVA and UVB can damage the skin. It leads to:

  • sunburn
  • skin ageing
  • skin cancer

Sunscreen can be put on the skin to protect it from harmful UVA and UVB.

The level of protection offered by sunscreen is the SPF number.

What is SPF?

SPF stands for "Sun Protection Factor." It is a number that is found on all sunscreens.

The SPF rating tells you how much longer it would take to absorb the same amount of UV rays compared to no protection at all.

Putting on SPF 20 means that it will take 20 times longer to absorb the sun's UV rays.