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BABIES are still at risk of sunburn in the shade, experts warn.
Marie Tudor, of national skin cancer awareness charity SKCIN, said infants can still get burnt when not in direct sunlight.
Children and babies are particularly at risk of sun damage and can get burnt from rays reflecting off water if you are by the pool or a beach.
She said: “Babies and children, especially if sitting poolside or on the beach, can fall victim to the sun’s harmful rays being reflected off water.
“Light coloured concrete and sand can reflect UV back onto their face or body, even if you’re sat in the shade under a sunshade or umbrella.
“It is essential to protect the delicate skin of babies and children by covering them with UV protective clothing, a wide brimmed sun hat and ideally an SPF 50 sunscreen formulated for children’s delicate and sensitive skin.”
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Marie also busted five other holiday myths about protecting yourself in the sun, in partnership with car shade company Shady.
MYTH: You can be out in the sun for up to an hour without getting burnt
Sunburn can occur in as little as 11 minutes without sunscreen on, Marie said.
Even if symptoms are not immediately obvious, damage may already be occurring under the surface.
She said: “Our skin turns red within two to six hours of being burnt and damage continues to develop for the next 24 to 72 hours depending on the severity.
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“When the skin burns, the superficial layers of the skin release chemicals that cause our blood vessels to expand and leak fluid causing swelling, pain and redness.
“Without sun protection, UV radiation penetrates deep into the layers of the skin causing cumulative and irreparable damage to the skin cells.”
MYTH: You can’t get sun damage through a car window
Car windscreens are made from laminated glass that filter out ultraviolet light, making you less likely to get sunburned.
But side vehicle windows are not laminated, only filtering out UVB radiation, not UVA.
Marie said: “UVA remains at fairly consistent levels during daylight hours, every day of the year and is able to penetrate cloud cover, fog and glass – meaning all-year-round protection is advisable.
“The sun’s UVA rays penetrate the skin at deeper levels than UVB causing cumulative and irreparable damage that can lead to skin cancer in later life.
“And this includes when kids are travelling in the car too – particularly for longer journeys as they can also accumulate sun damage through windows.”
MYTH: Skin types that tan easily and rarely burn are not at risk of skin cancer
Tanning occurs when your body produces more melanin — the natural pigment responsible for the colour of our skin, hair and eyes — in response to sun exposure.
While people may want to look tanned, it’s actually a sign the body is fighting off the sun and does not protect you against the risk of skin cancer, Marie said.
She said: “Even if we tan rather than burn, the simple fact that our skin changes colour is a sign of damage — it’s a warning sign that our body is working hard to defend itself from the harmful effects of the sun.
“As with sunburn, damage to the skin cells from tanning builds up over time, is irreversible and increases the risk of skin cancer.
“Put simply, when it comes to sun exposure — there is no such thing as a safe tan.”
MYTH: You only need sun protection when it’s hot and sunny
UV rays from the sun cannot be seen or felt as warm but are the cause of 90 per cent of skin cancers.
This means even when it is cloudy or cool, you may still be at risk of sunburn if you’re not wearing sunscreen.
Marie said: “Being aware of the daily UV Index is a vital step in managing your skin health and the level of protection required to prevent sun damage.
“The UV Index is an international standard measurement of the strength of sunburn producing UV radiation at the earth’s surface at a particular place and time.
“It is categorised by five number and colour coded values – the higher the number, the stronger the UV and the less time it takes for sun damage to occur.
“When the UV Index reaches three, steps should be taken to protect the skin and eyes.”
MYTH: Getting sunburn once, won’t increase your risk of skin cancer
Sunburn is a pain but many people don’t know quite how dangerous it can be.
Getting sunburnt just once every two years can triple your risk of deadly melanoma, according to Cancer Research UK.
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She said: “Sunburn is particularly harmful when sustained at a younger age – even one blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence more than doubles your chances of developing melanoma in later life.
“Skin damage builds up over time starting with your very first sunburn – the more often you burn the greater your risk becomes.”
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