The holidays are finally here and no doubt many of you are planning to escape the British weather and catch some rays elsewhere. But while we all appreciate a good tan, far too many of us get caught out and end up looking, well, not so hot. So whether it’s home or abroad, here are our top tips on staying safe in the sun – so you won’t see red this summer.

Wear sunscreen

Sunscreen is the sure-fire way to protect yourself from UV rays. Here are a few things to remember:

  • Make sure your sunscreen is not past its expiry date – most sunscreens have a shelf life of two to three years
  • Apply the right amount, often enough – the amount of sunscreen needed for an average adult is around 35ml, or six to eight teaspoons. If you’re going to be out in the sun a long time, make sure you keep reapplying to stay protected.
  • Use water resistant sunscreen if you’re going swimming – water reflects UV rays so, even while you think you’re cooling off, you’re still at risk. Be sure to reapply sunscreen after going in the water – even if it’s water resistant.
  • Know your UVA from your SPF – click here to find out more about the different levels of protection and what it all means.

Stay hydrated

  • In hot weather, there is a greater risk of dehydration as the body tries to cool itself by sweating. Keep yourself topped up by drinking plenty of fluids.
  • It’s not all about drinking. You might have a decreased appetite in the hot weather, but it’s important to try and eat as you normally would.

Keep your cool

  • Keep cool indoors by opening windows, closing blinds or curtains.
  • Take cool showers or baths and sprinkle yourself with cold water throughout the day.
  • If driving, keep your car well ventilated and take plenty of breaks.
  • Seek shade from strong sunlight.

 Cover up

  • Stay covered with light weight, light coloured clothing – try to go for clothes with a close weave that will block out any rays.
  • A wide brimmed hat will keep your face, neck and ears protected.
  • Your eyes are just as at risk in the sun – wear sunglasses to avoid any damage.

Chill out

  • Avoid too much exercise – this can cause heat exhaustion or heat stroke. For more information on the signs and how to stay safe, click here.

You can find more advice on staying safe on the NHS website.