HSE advises Be SunSmart Protect your skin this weekend

Friday 16 July

The HSE National Cancer Control Programme, in collaboration with Healthy Ireland and cross-sectoral partners, is reminding everyone to be SunSmart and protect your skin as we all look forward to the sunny weather this weekend (July 16-18). 

Playing and spending time outdoors is great for everyone. 

Protecting your own and children’s skin from the sun when outside reduces risk of skin cancer in later life.

In Ireland, UV from the sun is strongest from April to September between 11am-3pm, even when it is cloudy. 

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in Ireland, with over 13,000 cases annually. The number of people being diagnosed with skin cancer in Ireland is rising rapidly, with the number of cases expected to double by 2045.  

UV (ultraviolet) radiation from the sun causes damage to our skin which can lead to skin cancer. 

Protect your skin by following the SunSmart 5S’s of Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide:

  1. Slip on clothing: Cover skin as much as possible, wear long sleeves, collared t-shirts, clothes made from close-woven material that does not allow sunlight through.
  2. Slop on broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen: Apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30+ for adults and 50+ for children, with high UVA protection and water-resistant. Reapply regularly. No sunscreen can provide 100% protection, it should be used alongside other protective measures such as clothing and shade.
  3. Slap on a wide-brimmed hat: Protect your face, ears and neck.
  4. Seek shade: Sit in the cover of trees to avoid direct sunlight. Use a sunshade on your buggy or pram. Keep babies and children out of direct sunlight.
  5. Slide on sunglasses: Guard your eyes against harm by wearing sunglasses with UV protection.

And remember - do not deliberately try to get a suntan. Avoid getting a sunburn. Never use a sunbed.

Maria McEnery, Cancer Prevention Officer at the HSE National Cancer Control Programme says, “With the good weather predicted for this weekend, people will have the opportunity to enjoy getting outside. We want to remind everyone to enjoy the sun safely by following the SunSmart 5S’s and reduce their risk of skin cancer.” 

Please see the SunSmart hub at hse.ie and #SunSmart on social for more information.

Last updated on: 16 / 07 / 2021