Press release

Be SunSmart at GAA Cúl Camps this summer

The HSE’s National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) and Healthy Ireland have teamed up with Kellogg’s GAA Cúl Camps for the second year to support the Healthy Ireland SunSmart campaign.

The SunSmart campaign encourages us all to enjoy the sun safely by being SunSmart when outdoors, especially from April to September.

As part of this campaign, Kellogg’s GAA Cúl Camp coordinators have been trained in skin cancer prevention and to run similar workshops with the coaches in their local areas. The GAA Cúl Camp coaches have been introduced to the SunSmart programme and will encourage children to protect their skin by following the SunSmart 5 S’s when outside.

Taking part in sport and leisure activities is good for our physical and mental health. However while we are spending time outside we need to protect our skin from the sun. Parents or guardians can pop sunscreen and a hat in their kids' backpacks along with their snacks. In Ireland, ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is usually strongest from April to September, especially between 11am and 3pm. Even when it is cloudy it is important to protect skin, as the sun’s UV rays can travel through cloud.

Dr Breeda Neville, Specialist in Public Health Medicine, HSE NCCP says: “Children and young people are particularly vulnerable to the damaging effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. Children have lower concentrations of the protective skin pigment melanin and thinner skin, therefore are more susceptible to the dangers of UV. Establishing good sun protection habits early on is important, as behaviours learned at a young age are more likely to be adopted for life. We can all protect our skin and enjoy the outdoors by following the simple Healthy Ireland SunSmart 5 S’s.”

Remember the SunSmart 5 ‘Ss’: Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, Slide:

  • Slip on clothing: We need to cover as much skin as possible while still being comfortable. Wear clothes with long sleeves, breathable sports tops and high collars to protect your neck. Wear close-woven material that does not allow sunlight through.
  • Slop on broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen on exposed areas. Children need a stronger sunscreen than adults, with a SPF of at least 50, while adults should wear a sunscreen with a SPF of at least 30. The sunscreen used should be water resistant, reapplied every 2 hours and more regularly if you’re sweating.
  • Slap on a wide-brimmed hat: This will shade the face, ears and neck from the sun.
  • Seek shade - especially if outdoors between 11am and 3pm. Take cover under a marquee, tree or any available shade structure.
  • Slide on sunglasses to protect eyes.

The UV index measures the strength of the sun’s UV rays.  When the UV Index is 3 or above we should protect our skin. You can check the UV Index daily on theMet Éireann website or App.

Seán Gannon, National Cúl Camp Coordinator, GAA says: “We are delighted to support the SunSmart campaign for the second year in a row. At Kellogg’s GAA Cúl Camps, we are promoting the SunSmart 5 S’s message which can help protect children and coach’s skin and avoid getting sunburn. We are making sun safety a priority while ensuring children at the camps have an action-packed and fun-filled week of activity.”

For more information and to learn how to protect yourself and your family, visit the SunSmart hub and check out #SunSmart on social media.

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