Taking Care in the Sun

Hints to stay safe when swimming in this heat wave.

It’s the school holidays and instead of the usual unsettled weather, we’re in the grips of a heatwave. Searing, soaring temperatures are bringing families to the Lido in their hundreds hoping to have fun and cool down. But remember in this heat there is a need to be cautious. The sun can be dangerous to the complacent. Heat stroke, Sunstroke, Sun burns are unpleasant and potentially dangerous especially to the young and the elderly. In severe cases hospitalisation is necessary and fatalities have been known. Skin cancer is another unpleasant risk not worth taking. 

So how can you protect yourself? Well, you actually do need some sun. Fifteen to twenty minutes of the sun’s direct ray on your skin will be good for you but not over the midday period!  The ultraviolet rays activate the body’s ability to make its own vitamin D, vital for good health. Bodies too well protected from the suns rays will risk the resurgence of Rickets a disease affecting bones in the young and osteoporosis in the elderly.

Look at your sunscreen products, buy a good one with a high SPF of 30% protection or higher. You need to purchase on with UVA/UVB Protection’ or ‘Broad Spectrum’  screen


Remember independent testing has suggested that many water-resistant sunscreen lotions can be washed off in the water faster than the manufacturer’s instructions say, leaving you unprotected. Slathering on any old sunscreen thickly will not work either as the pool water becomes unpleasantly cloudy and oily when there are a high number of swimmers. If the lifeguards can’t see the pool bottom then it will need to close to allow the pool filtering system to work. Current UK tests allow manufacturers to claim a sunscreen is water-resistant if the SPF drops by as much as 50% after two 20-minute periods of immersion. The tests, however, are carried out using tap water. The Consumer Magazine, ‘Which,’ said its more rigorous tests in salt water, chlorinated water, and fast-moving water – conditions typically found on holidays exposed “serious flaws” in the testing regime.

If you have a sensitive skin and susceptible to burning then covering up is the best option. SF protected swim shirts can be ideal for children and adults.  Choose bathing suits that cover more skin, like one-piece suits and long trunks.


Out of the water, shower and reapply your sunscreen protection and wear loose covering clothing and don’t forget a broad brim hat. Most importantly though during the hottest part of the day find shade and stay safe.


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