As a child I experienced sun burn more than once on holiday, and I can still remember how painful it was. Looking back, I’m slightly horrified that it even happened; if one of my own kids were to catch the sun in such a way I’d be devastated! These days, education surrounding sun protection and the dangers of being exposed to UV rays (for all ages, not just children) is so much more sophisticated than it used to be, and there are so many more options around for parents too. That said, there are still some alarming figures when it comes to sun damage and skin cancer in the UK. This is why kids need to know about sun safety.

Why Kids Need to Know About Sun SafetyAccording to Boots Soltan, England has the world’s fastest growing melanoma rates. It’s now the UK’s most common cancer for 15-35 year olds, rising by a staggering 345% in the last 30 years! Knowing that there are  proven links between cases of childhood sun exposure and skin cancer, I feel more strongly than ever that we need to reinforce sun safety messaging from an early age. Yes, it’s a pain each year when the sun appears to get that text from school to say we MUST bring hats and suncream to school, but what’s the alternative? Sun burn? Heat stroke? Worse? This summer Boots Soltan are working hard with schools to carry on driving home the message that children need to be protected in the sunshine. Even in the UK with ‘poor summers’ we’re exposed to UV rays, which are responsible for 86% melanoma cases in the UK- and it’s our duty to make sure our kids understand not only how to stay safe, but why it’s so important to do so.

The Boots Soltan Sun Ready Campaign is back again, and this year they’ve launched a fun competition to help raise awareness of sun safety even more. Schools are being encouraged to submit photos of their pupils getting ‘sun ready’ for the chance to win £5000 and a class set of bibs for their school trips. Four runners up will each win £500. The first 100 schools to download the pack to enter the Sun Ready Photo Challenge will receive a Sun Ready Schools outdoor banner featuring top sun safety tips for their school, and free samples of Boots Soltan sun Why Kids Need to Know About Sun Safetycream. 

The Sun Ready Photo Challenge encourages schools to submit photos of how they stay safe and have fun in the sun, whether that’s wearing their best sunglasses or donning their favourite summer hat. The competition is part of Boots Soltan Sun Ready Schools, a curriculum-linked programme providing free teaching resources that help to equip teachers and pupils with all the knowledge they need to stay safe on warmer days. 

Boots Soltan is the only leading brand that offers 5* UVA protection to prevent permanent skin care damage, and by educating young people aged 5-11 about how to stay safe in the sun, the campaign is ensuring that they adopt healthy sun safety tips at an early age that will last a lifetime. This is even more important as 23% of sun damage occurs before the age of 18.

As many schools work hard to allocate budgets evenly throughout the school year, the prize money offered by Boots Soltan will provide the opportunity for teachers and pupils to travel outside the school gates to an activity day, visit, or experience which will help enhance skills like teamwork, leadership and educational curiosity.

To enter the Sun Ready Photo competition, visit this page now and to download the fun, free, curriculum-linked resources go to: http://bit.ly/SoltanSunReadySchools

I for one welcome the school text reminding me that my child needs a hat and that I should apply sun cream before they arrive each morning during the hotter days. It doesn’t take a minute, but it could make allWhy Kids Need to Know About Sun SafetyWhy Kids Need to Know About Sun Safety the difference- and when you’re a busy parent you need all the reminders you can get! This year though, I’ll be encouraging my school to take it one step further and really invest in sun safety education so that the message is really clear.

This is a collaborative post.