Medway Council’s Trading Standards team is conducting inspections on some holiday essentials to ensure that local residents enjoy the sun whether it is at home or on holiday.
Medway’s officers are out testing children’s sunglasses to make sure that they offer proper protection from damaging UV light that can cause irreversable damage to their young eyes.
They are also sampling and submitting for test examples of the budget sun lotions to ensure that they offer the purported sun protection factor. These products are importantly designed to protect the skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays.
Medway Council Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Customer Contact Cllr Mike O’Brien said: “Medway Council’s trading standards officers are making sure that these essential sumertime extras are safe and accurately described.
“With a greater awareness of the harmful damage exposure to sun can cause it is vital that we make sure that these products live up to their claims regardless of whether they are cheap or expensive.”
Medway’s Director of Public Health Dr Alison Barnett echoed this advice. She said: “Malignant melanomas are the least common but most dangerous type of skin cancer, with nearly 12,000 new cases every year in the UK. The incidence has been rising rapidly during the last 20 years.
“It is important that everyone reduces their risk of contracting skin cancer by making sure they take simple, but important steps when enjoying the sun, either when at home or abroad. This includes wearing a sunscreen with a high SPF of 30 and above to clean, dry skin before going out in the sun. You should only buy sun screen from reputable outlets, to ensure the product you are buying will give you protection from the sun’s harmful rays.
“Babies and children’s skin is much more sensitive than adult skin and needs to have extra care taken of it. Make sure children are covered up and wear sun hats and long-sleeved clothes and have a high-factor sunscreen on them before they go outside.
“Wearing a long-sleeved shirt or top, preferably one with a collar, and a long skirt or shorts will help protect you from the sun’s burning rays. Hats will protect the head, face, neck and ears from getting burned too, while sunglasses not only look good, but also protect the eyes from the sun’s harmful rays.”
Trading Standards officers would like to know if local residents have any particular concerns about any of these products and are asking for them to report the matter to the Consumer Helpline on 08454 040506.