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Children taken to burns and plastic surgery unit following sunny weather

(Adobe Stock)

Parents are being warned to ensure their children are fully protected against the sun following several youngsters having to be admitted to Morriston Hospital with sunburn.

The Welsh Centre for Burns and Plastic Surgery, at Morriston Hospital, has seen three cases of children over the past two days prompting doctors to issue a warning to parents.

With the Met Office predicting the hot and sunny spell continuing well into this week the advice is to ensure children are fully protected when out in the sun.

A spokesman for the centre said: “We have seen three children admitted in the last two days with sunburn to fairly large areas of their bodies.

“As you can imagine, it’s quite painful and could have been avoided if they had applied protection.”

Offering advice on how best to guard against sunburn Dr Zoe Lee said: “Our advice to parents is to encourage their children to play in the shade as much as possible, wear hats and long sleeves, and apply regular applications of sun cream to the skin.

“It’s also important to apply sun cream regularly and to keep hydrated.”

The British Association of Dermatologists offered the following advice to help guard from the harmful effects of too much sun at the start of the summer.

The department has issued some important tips to help protect ourselves whilst out in the sun:

  • Spend time in the shade during the sunniest part of the day when the sun is at its strongest, which is usually between 11am and 3pm in the summer months.
  • Avoid direct sun exposure for babies and very young children.
  • When it is not possible to stay out of the sun, keeping yourself well covered, with a hat, T-shirt, and sunglasses can give you additional protection. You can buy specialist children’s sun protection clothing as well.
  • Apply sunscreen liberally to exposed areas of skin. Re-apply every two hours and straight after swimming or towelling to maintain protection.

Nurse Hannah Brew of Swansea Bay UHB’s Dermatology Department said: “Most of us do enjoy getting out in the sun, when we get chance and a break from the rain, and sunshine isn’t always bad.

“However, we must be careful because solar ultraviolet radiation is known to be carcinogenic to humans and can pass through clouds, glass, and clothing.

“There are three main types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma. Major factors in the formation of these cancers is sun exposure and the use of sun lamps.

“Melanoma is the deadliest skin cancer and is now one of the most common cancers in young adults aged 15-34 in the UK. One blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence more than doubles a person’s chances of developing melanoma later in life.

“More than 80 per cent of all skin cancers are caused by over-exposure to the sun and/or sun beds. If you are in any doubt whether you may have skin cancer, then check it out with your GP.”