18 Aug

How to stay safe in the sun

When I was young, I use to go out and sit on the beach in the sun for hours not thinking about the damage it might have been doing to my body. As I have gotten older and become a more experienced traveller, staying safe in the sun has become one of main priorities whilst on holiday.

As a fair skin Brit, used to rainy days, I follow these five steps to ensure I stay healthy and more refreshed after a holiday in the sunshine. The same can be applied to protect your little ones too.

Keep hydrated - drink lots of water

When you are out in the sun, you need to drink plenty of fluids to keep hydrated. A daily recommendation for drinking water is 2 litres for men and 1.6 litres for women, equivalent to eight and ten glasses. However, this depends on how much activity you do and whether it is a hot day or not. Whilst you are spending time in the sun, stay hydrated by drinking more water than you usually would at home.

Wear a hat and cover your shoulders

Wearing a wide brimmed hat in the sun can protect your head, hair, eyes and skin. A hat can keep you feeling cooler and prevent you from developing a headache.

Wear UVA protected sunglasses

Sunglasses are a great fashion accessory and can make you look ‘trendy’, but they are also very important for protecting your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet light. Strong sunlight can cause you to have headaches and according to the NHS Choices, looking into strong sunlight without protection can have long-term consequences such as cataracts. So whether you choose a pair of shades that are fashionable or practical, make sure they are UVA protected.

Wear a water resistant sun cream with a high SPF

When buying sunscreen, the label should have a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 to protect against UVB. You should also apply broad-spectrum sunscreen (protection against UVA and UVB light) every two hours, and reapply after you have been in the water. If you are travelling with children, buy them a sun cream that has a high SPF of 30 – 50 and keep babies out of direct sunlight.

Embrace the shade

It is worth spending some time in the shade, especially in the middle of the day when the sun is at its hottest. Do as the locals do and enjoy a long lunch, ask your hotel or rep if beaches have trees or shaded picnic areas, otherwise look for umbrellas on the beach or ask your hotel about renting or borrowing one.