UK weather: Health warning issued after hundreds treated for sunburn during heatwave

People to 'use some common sense' as heatwave continues

Sarah Young
Sunday 22 July 2018 19:49
Comments
UK weather: The latest Met Office forecast

A sunburn warning has been issued by Public Health England (PHE) after a spike in hospitalisations during the heatwave.

It urged people to take proper precautions, including using sun cream and wearing protective clothing, after 220 people were hospitalised over the last two months.

The Belfast Trust saw the highest number of patients, 69, needing treatment for sunburn, PHE warned that just one incident of sunburn could double the risk of malignant melanoma – a type of skin cancer.

“Our advice is to think about what you’re doing in the sun and use some common sense – know the limits of your own skin, don’t stay out in strong sunshine for too long, wear wraparound sunglasses, wear a hat, cover up with light clothing and, if you need to, seek shade during the hottest parts of the day and use sunscreen that’s at least factor 15, which also has good UV-A protection,” said PHE’s Professor John O’Hagan.

The warning came amid concerns that more people could be admitted to hospital across the UK as the hot weather shows no signs of slowing down in the coming weeks.

Forecasters have predicted that the hottest day of the year could be on the cards next week with temperatures reaching 34C in some parts of the country on Wednesday.

“Temperatures throughout next week into next weekend could remain hot,” said Met Office meteorologist Mark Wilson.

“Wednesday we could see 33C to 34C. It won’t be everywhere; it will be particularly the southeast and London.

“That is very hot indeed, and there will be high levels of humidity for some places so it will feel muggy and humid.”

Mr Wilson also advised the public to take care in the high levels of UV. “If you are exposed to the sun, seek shade, cover up, use suntan lotion, drink lots of water and check on the vulnerable such as the elderly and the very young,” he said.

Despite warnings to stay out of the sun, it is likely that Brits will prepare to dash outside and top up their tans regardless, making sun cream an absolute necessity.

However, new YouGov research on the nation’s sun cream habits has revealed that almost a quarter (23 per cent) do not apply it during the summer or when on holiday, with men twice as likely to forego protection (31 per cent vs 15 per cent).

According to the NHS, sun cream should be applied to all exposed skin, including the face, neck and ears 30 minutes before you go out in the sun.

Adults should apply two teaspoons of sunscreen but two tablespoons are required if you’re covering the entire body while wearing a swimsuit.

This is because applying it too thinly can cause a reduction in the amount of protection it gives. It’s also important to reapply liberally and frequently after you’ve been in water, towel drying or sweating.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in