Preventing Sunburn – It’s not rocket science you know….

First of all, I’m tired because I’ve been up since 4am with a poorly Master Frugal who’s had temperatures of up to 40 c today so I apologise in advice if this comes across as a giant moan.

I rang the Dr’s for some advice this morning and after an interrogation from the receptionist (which is a whole other post) she advised us to pop down to our local A&E with Master Frugal seeing as he was so hot and so very sleepy.  He literally could not keep his eyes open and at one point he just sat down on the floor and slept right there.

You can imagine how impressed a grumpy sleepy child was at having to be woken up and dressed so we could take him to the A&E so imagine how impressed I was to find the waiting room overflowing – we couldn’t even get a seat in there!  As we walked through the waiting room I was horrified to see the number of people (all adults thankfully) with what looked like sunburn related injuries.

Now I know I’ve had sunburn before but it’s not usually for lack of putting sun tan lotion on (only once when the weather was cloudy so I thought I was OK).  We’re all fair skinned so at the first sign of sun, the factor 50 is out – in fact,  this is the picture I posted on Instagram before I went on holiday last year:


I think we took more sun tan lotion than clothes but at least I knew that we’d be well prepared for the Sun. And the reason we did that?

Because not only does sunburn hurt like mad, it can also have much more severe long term effects.  The same UV rays that cause sunburn is known to increase the risk of skin cancer and premature aging.  I’m not telling you something that you don’t already know though am I?

The best ways to avoid sunburn are:

  • Avoid the Sun at it’s hottest point in the day – usually between 12pm and 3pm.
  • Apply Sun tan lotion 15 minutes before going out in the sun, making sure that you’re using the right SPF factor for your skin.  We’re fair skinned and burn easily so we stick to factor 50.
  • Reapply at regular intervals and especially after you’ve been in the water.
  • It’s best to cover up in the sun – t shirts over bathers and swimming trunks are the way forward.

You can buy sun tan lotion all over at this time of year at some really great prices – supermarket own brands especially are really reasonably priced so there really is no excuse when it’s this hot outside.

I get that everyone is entitled to care on the NHS which is one of the things that makes it great but it makes me so angry.  Why should I have to sit on a hard bench outside the waiting room with my poorly little boy burning up while the nurses were bandaging sunburnt arms and legs because people were so careless?

And…. Since I wrote this, I read a post about one ladies experience  of the devastating effects of skin cancer.  If my words don’t convince you to stay safe, I guarantee that this will.

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  1. says

    Hi, I’ve been a lurker around your blog for a few months. I love this article and your entire site! Looking forward to read more!

  2. Alison says

    There is a brand of suncare called Ultrasun, that you apply once a day and even if you're in and out the pool all day, you don't need to reapply. Fab stuff. Not the cheapest but worth the price in my opinion. You can probably get it on other websites but I watch out for 'Todays Special Value' offers on QVC and stock up then.

    P.S. I'm nothing to do with Ultrasun or QVC, just a fan of the suncare range and a regular reader of your blog.

  3. Frugal queen says

    The NHS should dish out advice at the door and send folk with sun burn packing

  4. mamacookblogspot says

    I'm pretty olive skinned so factor 15 in the UK on hot days for me, factor 30 abroad but the one thing I've really come round to is the once a day lotions / sprays. I tried them on holiday in southern Spain at 40 degrees and they worked a treat. Didn't go even slightly pink.

    I think the thing is 30 years ago, we would rarely as a family use sun cream in the UK at all. I'm lucky that I do go brown and didn't sit still for long but my Dad was one of those "Go pink first" types.

    The problem is that for every person who was an idiot and didn't put any cream on at all, there would be someone who didn't realise they needed to reapply as often as they should. I mean with regular suncream it's meant to be every 1-2 hours! Does anyone do that? Or they might have chosen the wrong factor or got caught out by cloud like you. I'm always really reluctant to judge people who are already in A&E, I'm betting they've already learned their lesson.

  5. Elspeth says

    Gah. I never let my kiddo out without factor 50 (30 for me!) and he's nowhere near as fair as you, your kids or even me! I burn so easily I'm crazy-paranoid about him burning too. Sunburn really ticks me off…. You can get a big bottle for a fiver that'll last ages, people!

  6. says

    Love this. I was in Boots earlier today when a Dad brought in a girl not much older than 2 who was bright pink with sunburn, no one should ever do that to a child. I hope Master gets better soon and you get a full night's sleep.