Don’t let a child’s summer holiday start the wrong way – avoid sunburn during the heatwave

Parents and guardians are being urged to take extra care of vulnerable young skin as the first week of the summer holidays sees the heatwave continue.

Temperatures are expected to peak later this week, and West Midlands Ambulance Service has reported an increased workload due to calls about children suffering sunburn and dehydration.

With youngsters now having more time to run around outdoors there are fears this could increase.

Dr Rachel Gallyot, a Staffordshire GP with two school aged children said: “Young skin is particularly vulnerable to the sun, and young children can burn really quickly. It’s potenitally very painful and can store up skin problems in later life.

“Children going outside in the current heat should be wearing clothing that will keep them suitably protected and sunblock should be applied and reapplied throughout the day – some children don’t like having this done, but they will dislike sunburn a lot more.

“My eldest son said he didn’t think he needed sunblock in this country. It isn’t true, and we should not get complacent about the power of the sun at home or on holiday abroad.”

Dr Gallyot added: “Like everyone, youngsters can quickly dehydrate in high temperatures and they should always have easy access to fluids.”

Pharmacies sell sunblock and pharmacists are highly-skilled clinicians who can advise on how to treat mild sunburn and other conditions related to the heatwave like insect bites. If you are feeling unwell or need urgent advice 24 hours-a-day then NHS 111 is the number to call.

A comprehensive guide about the dangers of sunburn, how to avoid it, associated symptoms and what to do if someone is suffering from sunburn can be found on the NHS Choices website.