Please Follow Sun Safety Guidelines, and Teach Your Kids About Them TooI was recently contacted by Boots Soltan who wanted to let me know about their new app, the Soltan Sun Ready Challenge. Being fair skinned myself, I’ve suffered sun burn in the past and I know just how painful it can be. I also now know how dangerous the long term effects of sunburn can be too. Early over exposure to the sun can increase a child’s risk of developing melanoma (skin cancer) and surely that’s a risk that no parent wants to take. But then you have the fact that kids are notoriously bad at having sun cream applied. Well, mine are anyway. Faced with the prospect of two hourly wrestling matches with slippery and nimble small people, nobody would blame us for skipping one or two re-applications would they?

Please, please don’t skip re-applications of sun cream. Not even one. Please follow sun safety guidelines, and teach your kids about them too.

I hold my hands up. I don’t always want to apply sun cream to my kids. And I almost always forget to apply my own cream too. But this weekend I’ve had a sharp reminder of the importance and there is no way my approach to sun care is ever going to slip again. It started with a small ‘skin tag’ on Bella’s side. It literally appeared over night a couple of months ago, but was painless and so we decided to just keep an eye on it. Then last week, it began to grow, and turned an angry shade of red. Bella started to complain that it was itching and so I booked her a doctor’s appointment to have it checked over. I often worry that my responses are not right given the whatever situation we’re in- I tend to over react and assume the worst- and as I sat in the doctor’s stuffy little room, I could feel the panic start to travel along my veins as he spoke.

The innocent skin tag was now an infected mole, and the doctor was concerned enough to question me thoroughly about Bella’s general health and whether she was in pain at all. WePlease Follow Sun Safety Guidelines, and Teach Your Kids About Them Too were assured that it was ‘probably not sinister’ but that a follow up appointment was mandatory and we were to call out of hours immediately if her condition deteriorated. We were given cream to apply and reminded again to come back for monitoring and so that we could be referred to paediatric dermatology.

And so, all the times the sun cream remained in my bag for that little bit too long on a sunny day came crashing down on me. Of course, I googled fervently and felt sick with fear at everything I read. Every single thing pointed to melanoma. All the signs were there and I was genuinely scared. I still am. We are four days on with the cream and while it does seem to be getting better (and if I am calm and rational, I know that it is a ‘skin tag’ and not a mole) I still need someone to tell me that it is not cancer. We’ll be back on Friday for follow up. The reason I’m telling you this? Because I know how easy it is to forget about the importance of sun safety.

We live in the UK, where we have more cloudy days than sunshine- but did you know that experts recommend we wear sunscreen from the months of April to October, and even on cloudy days? It should be re-applied regularly and we need to teach our kids to take some responsibility for it too. They need to learn why its so important and why sun safety is as non negotiable as brushing our teeth. This is up to me. I’ve literally been turned upside and shaken hard.

UVA-star-rating-logoThe Soltan app is a fantastic place to start because it helps kids to understand the basics of sun safety in a fun and practical way. For parents, there are plenty of sun safety tips and to be honest there really is no excuse any more. You can get 10% off any Soltan product using the code SUNREADY10 until Sunday 16th July so stock up now and make sure you have enough for the whole summer. All of the Soltan products have  a five star UVA rating, so you don’t need to worry about the effectiveness of the cream- and incidentally, the UVA rating was developed by Soltan themselves, and is now a recognised industry standard for sun protection.

Lastly, I want to tell you about Boot’s mole scanning service. 

Sometimes moles can change, and if they do it’s important
to get them checked.
The Mole Scanning Service provides you with an assessment of
moles and other skin marks you’re worried about,
and can help to identify any that might be suspicious.

If you’re worried about a mole, please please go and get it checked out. It is so important to take a regular check and note any changes, no matter how small. New moles in children can appear over the years, but it’s less common as they get older. That said, any new moles that you’re not sure about should be checked out. Please, take advice from the experts and don’t leave anything to chance. Stay educated, and say safe.

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