By Rebecca Stewart
This weekend has triggered a personal conflict in me. The temperature is finally rising and, when here in the North East of Scotland we had enough snow to build a snow man last week, I am glad to finally step out of the door without a woolly hat on!
However it is also a sad time as I know what it means for our XP families. Being un-comfortable in essential layers to keep them safe, confinement to indoors when the temperature is too warm to stand all the protective clothing and visor, not being able to open windows to cool down the home, hoping the air con in the car doesn’t fail, turning down invites to BBQ’s and summer trips and desperately trying to keep cool and stop from overheating on essential outings are but a few of the difficulties faced by our XP families at this time of year.
My own XP journey has led me to a much better understanding of all things UV and it is something I have become quite passionate about. I know we have just had six months of miserable cold weather and the first sign of that yellow orb in the sky has got me banging on about sun protection but the sad fact is that over the next few days, as everyone heads outdoors to appreciate the warmth, my news feed will be full of images of people showing their burnt and blistered skin.
So here are a few sun/skin facts you may not already know.
- Rates of malignant melanoma are rising faster than any other cancer resulting in 100,000 new cases each year.
- Seven people a day die of skin cancer in the U.K alone.
- At least two 15-34 year olds are diagnosed with malignant melanoma in the U.K every day.
- On average someone who dies from skin cancer loses twenty years of their life.
- Just one blistered sunburn in childhood doubles your chances of skin cancer in later life.
We all know how to protect ourselves so slip on a shirt, slap on the sun cream, stay out of the sun during the hottest parts of the day and stick on a hat and shades.
I’m off to finally hang the washing outside so in the meantime here is to a safe sunny week ahead for everyone.
For more information on the works of Teddington Trust and their educational project which promotes better sun safety for all please visit www.teddingtontrust.com/bearsforrare
*Facts courtesy of the British skin foundation