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Category Archives: Safety In The Sun

Stay safe in the heatwave with a shade sail

When you have to put up with the UK’s miserable weather for most of the year, the idea of a heatwave probably sounds like a dream come true.

Indeed, the glorious sunshine and high temperature is great for spending time outside and there is no reason people shouldn’t enjoy it. However, it’s also important to be aware of the health risks that can occur during these conditions and to ensure you’re protected.

The Met Office has issued an official Level 3 heatwave one word warning for the UK between July 17th-18th and this means temperatures in parts of the UK could exceed 30 degrees C for a substantial amount of time.

Dr Angie Bone, the heatwave plan lead for the government organisation Public Health England, has provided advice concerning those most at risk during these extreme conditions.

“While many people enjoy hot weather, high temperatures can be dangerous, especially for people who may be particularly vulnerable such as older people, young children and those with serious illnesses,” she stated.

“The elderly and those with long-term illnesses are particularly vulnerable to the effects of very hot weather, so it’s important to look out for them and keep indoor areas as cool as possible,” Dr Bone added.

She recommended sticking to the shade when possible, drinking plenty of cool drinks and avoiding sunburn as some of the best ways to stay healthy when temperatures are extremely high.

An ideal way to ensure you and your family are safe during a heatwave is to install an outdoor shade sail. These canopies are specifically manufactured to withstand the harsh Australian sun, meaning they can easily stand up to anything the British summer has to throw at them.

They can block up to 98.8 per cent of the harmful UV rays that cause sunburn and other health problems. What’s more, they are built to last and will provide the same level of protection should another heatwave unexpectedly occur a few years down the line.

Five uses for a shade sail

We’re passionate about shade sails here at Shaded Nation and one of the main reasons we love our products is their flexibility.

You might not know it, but the shade structures we provide are incredibly versatile and can be used for a wide range of purposes. Read on to find out more.


Looking to create a relaxing, shaded spot in your garden where you can sit and unwind? One of our shade sails is perfect for you. All of our canopies are designed to be stylish as well as functional, meaning they will boost both the appearance and value of your home.


Business uses for a shade sail are wide and varied. Be it providing shelter for a restaurant with outdoor seating, or offering a covered smoking area for an office block, we are used to meeting the needs of commercial clients. Not sure if we have a shade to suit your company’s requirements? Feel free to get in touch and discuss your thoughts with us.


Shade structures are becoming an increasingly common feature in schools due to the level of sun protection they provide. Our products can block up to 98.8 per cent of harmful UV rays, which drastically reduces the risk of sunburn. With many schools embracing outdoor learning, there is a real need to keep kids safe from the sun and we are happy to help.

Sporting venues 

Another popular use for our shades is to provide shelter at sporting venues such as running tracks and swimming pools. They give protection from the elements for spectators and also participants in some cases.


It’s much better for a car to be parked in the shade and if you don’t have a garage, why not use a shade canopy to cover your parking spot?

These are just a selection of the possible uses for our shade canopies and if you’ve got something in mind why not get in touch and we can discuss whether it’s doable. We are more than happy to produce bespoke designs, so the chances are we’ll be able to help you out.

Are parents who let their children get sunburn guilty of neglect?

It’s safe to say the majority of people probably suffered from sunburn at least once or twice as a child.

However, with skin cancer cases continuing to rise in the UK, a group of campaigners has called on parents to take greater responsibility to ensure their kids are protected from the sun’s harmful rays.

According to Melanoma Action and Support Scotland, allowing a child to get badly burnt is neglect and parents who do so should be referred to social services.

Leigh Smith, chair of the organisation, commented: “Malignant melanoma is the most common cancer in young adults aged 15-34 in the UK and it happens from getting sunburned.

“We also need to make sure schools are protecting children from sunburn while they are there. As far as I’m concerned it is a child protection issue.”

Her comments were made in response to reports that the recent hot weather experienced across the UK has seen several youngsters – including a baby of just four weeks – omitted to accident and emergency wards with severe burns.

“It’s very serious. These parents have tripled their children’s chances of getting skin cancer,” Ms Smith stated.

Founder of charity the Burned Children’s Club Pat Wade has expressed her support for this view. She claimed that with a large amount of information about the dangers of the sun now available, there is no excuse for parents not ensuring their children are protected.

Whether people whose kids suffer from sunburn are guilty of neglect is open for debate. However, the importance of keeping your children safe in the sun cannot be disputed. Getting badly burned as a youngster is proven to increase the risk of contracting skin cancer in later life, which means ensuring your little ones are protected is absolutely vital.

Installing a Shaded Nation shade sail is a perfect way of doing this. Our shades can block up to 98.8 per cent of harmful UV rays and by doing so they protect your children and provide you with welcome peace of mind.

Sunburn hospital cases on the rise

The health risks associated with sunburn are now common knowledge. It is widely known that getting burnt is directly linked to skin cancer and that staying safe in the sun should be a top priority.

Despite this, a significant number of people are still failing to take the necessary precautions and are allowing themselves to get burnt in pursuit of a tan, or simply because they forget to wear sun cream.

As temperatures have risen across the UK in July, hospitals all over the country have seen an increased number of Brits coming to them with badly burned skin. For example, the Surrey Mirror has reported the level of patients visiting East Surrey Hospital for this reason in the first 18 days of July was double that for the whole of June.

However, going to an accident and emergency ward should only be required in extremely severe cases of sunburn, as normally this is a condition doctors can do little about.

Eloise Clarke, a spokesperson for the hospital, said: “People with sunburn should ask their pharmacist for advice, or see their GP if they have sunburn and feel faint, dehydrated or have severe blistering.

“If the GP surgery is closed they should call the GP telephone number to hear a message about who to contact for medical advice or call 111.”

This sentiment has been echoed by the East of England Ambulance Service, which is concerned about the number of people calling 999 after getting burned in the sun.

Oskan Edwardson, associate director of special service operations at the organisation, urged people to think twice before dialling for an ambulance due to sunburn, as the condition does not require urgent medical treatment.

The symptoms of sunburn will heal naturally over a relatively short space of time, but it is the long-term effects that are most worrying. Getting burnt causes irreversible damage to the skin that may lead to skin cancer several years later, which means it is crucial to do everything you can to stay protected.

Our shade sails block up to 98.8 per cent on the sun’s harmful rays. Want to know more? Visit this page to find out.

Five reasons to avoid sunburn

No one enjoys sunburn, but that doesn’t seem to stop huge amounts of Brits suffering with the condition at home and abroad every single year.

However, there are some genuinely good reasons why you should do your utmost to stay protected in the sun and we take a look at five of the most important below.

It hurts 

First and foremost sunburn is painful and can be incredibly uncomfortable. While you might enjoy sunning yourself on the weekend, having to go into work on Monday with sore and sensitive skin won’t be much fun. What’s more, severe cases can lead to blistering and huge amounts of dead skin peeling off, which is thoroughly unpleasant.


Not even Cheryl Cole could pull off the sunburn look without appearing slightly ridiculous. Walking around with a lobster red face or nose is simply embarrassing and you should do your best to avoid it.

It spoils you fun 

Suffering a bad case of sunburn is a sure-fire way to spoil your summer fun. The pain and discomfort can be a real struggle and you’ll be much less inclined to go outside and enjoy the rest of the nice weather.

Serious health risks

The best reason to avoid getting burnt is because it’s scientifically proven to be linked to skin cancer. This is one of the fastest growing diseases in the UK at the moment and staying safe in the sun will go a long way to protecting yourself against it.

Setting a bad example 

Children are most at risk of sunburn due to the delicacy of their skin and getting badly burnt as a youngster can dramatically increase a person’s chances of contracting skin cancer in later life. By avoiding sunburn yourself, you can set the right example for your kids and ensure they are aware of the need to be protected.

Worried that you might not be doing to enough to stay safe in the sun? A Shaded Nation sun shade canopy is the perfect way to make sure you and your family are protected.

Schools ‘must educate children on sun safety’

The UK’s schools may not be doing enough to teach young people about the importance of staying safe in the sun.

This is according to charity the Teenage Cancer Trust, which has recently carried out a survey on the issue, the Press Association reports.

It found a shocking 97 per cent of teachers do not know if their school has a specific sun safety policy. Furthermore, half of the respondents said they have never encouraged pupils to wear a hat in the sun and nearly a third do not advise students to stick to the shade when the sun is at its hottest.

Meanwhile, 20 per cent have never told children to wear sun cream while at school.

Nigel Revell, director of education at the Teenage Cancer Trust, commented: “Schools are failing young people. It’s utterly shocking to see sun safety given such low priority. We know that burning skin at a young age can double the risks of skin cancer in later life.”

He claimed schools should follow the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommendations regarding sun safety and make sure children are taking steps to stay protected while on school grounds.

The Teenage Cancer Trust also carried out a survey of young people aged between 11 and 21 and found a third have never been educated on the dangers of the sun whatsoever.

Sam Smith, the charity’s head of nursing and quality in the north, said that while a small level of sun exposure is good for people as it boosts vitamin D levels, only ten minutes a day, three days a week is needed. She added that even at this low level of sun access, an individual’s skin type should still be taken into account.

Many schools are now installing shade sail canopies in a bid to improve the level of sun protection they provide, as these structures can block up to 98.8 per cent of harmful UV rays.

Here at Shaded Nation we are experienced in providing sun shades for schools and can create bespoke designs to suit your specific needs.

Sunburn can also be a threat at work

Most people only see sunburn as a threat when they are on holiday or relaxing at the weekend. However, it can also be an occupational hazard.

Any person who has a job that involves spending a lot of time working outside runs the risk of getting burnt if they don’t take the necessary precautions to protect their skin.

A prime example of this is construction, where the vast majority of a working day is spent out in the open air. At the start of July, House building company Taylor Wimpey launched a campaign to educate workers in the industry about the dangers of the sun.

The firm released a number of recommendations for how workers can keep safe, such as keeping their skin covered, sticking to the shade whenever possible, wearing sunscreen and drinking water to stay hydrated.

Edward Woods, Taylor Wimpey director of health, safety and the environment, stated: “We want all of our people to go home at the end of the day safe and healthy … so it’s particularly important that people working outside take sensible precautions.”

The company said it was prompted into launching the campaign after learning of research by the North West Cancer Research Fund, which revealed many outdoor workers don’t wear sunscreen because they think cloud cover will protect them.

Furthermore, of those who do apply cream, many only do so once they feel their skin burning, meaning damage has already been done.

This problem is not restricted to the construction industry and any business whose staff spend a lot of time working outdoors should consider the sun safety of their workforce.

An ideal way to ensure people are protected is by using a shade sail. These semi-permanent canopies can block 98.8 per cent of dangerous UV rays and provide a welcome shaded spot where staff can work and rest without fear of getting burnt.

Here at Shaded Nation we are used to providing sun shades for business clients and offer both ready-made structures and bespoke designs depending on your preference.

How can a shade sail be used at schools?

An increasing number of schools in the UK are opting to install shade sails on their grounds.

These structures are a versatile and useful addition to any school and can provide a number of practical benefits. We take a look at some of the different ways schools are opting to use shade sails below.

Sun protection 

Of course, the primary role of a sun shade is to provide protection from the damaging effects of the sun. Children are particularly vulnerable to sunburn and getting burnt as a youngster is proven to increase the chances of contracting skin cancer in later life.

Shaded Nation shades block up to 98.8 per cent of UV rays, making them an ideal way to provide a shaded spot under which kids can stay safe from the sun.

Outdoor learning 

A growing trend in schools is outdoor learning and more and more teachers are taking classes in the open air. This offers some welcome variation for children who spend most of their learning time in the classroom and kids that struggle to concentrate indoors often find it easier when outside.

A sun shade allows outdoor classes to go ahead with protection from the sun, wind and light rain.

Cycle shelters 

Many schools are doing their best to encourage pupils to cycle to school. This is beneficial for their health and also has a positive impact on the environment. However, kids are much more likely to ride their bike into school if they have a nice place to leave it, and this is where shade sails can help.

Using a sun shade to create a cycle shelter will provide both pupils and parents with confidence that their bikes are being kept in a safe and secure location.

Sporting events 

One of the most eagerly-awaited events on the school calendar is sport’s day and parents normally flock to see their kids in action. A shade canopy provides a sheltered place in which spectators can stand and can also be used as a base to sell refreshments.

Sunburn – the facts

Here in the UK most people suffer from sunburn at some point in their life.

However, while many of us have experienced the condition, a surprising number of Brits still know very little about what it is, why it happens and the risk associated with it. This is worrying, as it means people may be putting their health in the balance by not releasing the dangers of overexposure to the sun.

Here are the key things you need to know about sunburn.

What is it?

The light created by the sun contains ultraviolet (UV) rays. A small amount of exposure to these rays is good for the body as it is a source of vitamin D. However, should too much UV light come into contact with your skin it will burn.

People can tolerate different levels of exposure depending on their skin type, with individuals who have dark skin, eyes and hair normally less likely to burn.

What are the symptoms?

The most common effect of sunburn is red skin that is sore and painful to the touch. However, there are a number of other symptoms you might not be aware of. If your skin starts to flake or peel a few days after being out of the sun this is a sign you were burned, while severe cases can lead to blistering, swelling and fever.

What are the risks?

Sunburn has no advantages and overexposure to UV rays poses numerous risks. Spending too much time in the sun can cause skin to wrinkle and age prematurely and even create solar keratoses, which are rough and scaly patches that appear on the skin.

It can also damage the eyes through a condition know as photokeratitis, which can be prevented by wearing sunglasses. However, by far the greatest risk associated with sunburn is skin cancer.

It is scientifically proven that getting burnt increases your chances of contracting this potentially fatal condition and the NHS believes this is responsible for the majority of the 70,000 cases recorded in the UK each year.

Drivers ‘can still get sunburn’

Drivers need to take precautions from the sun even if they have the windows shut.

Researchers from Stony Brook University in New York carried out a survey, which appears in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, to find out how many motorists apply sun block and the results shocked experts, the Daily Mail reports.

Only 15 per cent of respondents said they use protective cream most of the time, while 38 per cent normally apply lotion when they are outdoors. People mistakenly believe they do not need to worry about the sun when driving, but they can still get sunburn.

Consider a carport

Drivers ‘can still get sunburn’

Some 225 men and women were asked about their sun block use as part of the study and two-thirds said they didn’t think there was any need to wear sunscreen when in a car. However, at least 80 per cent of UVA rays get through.

Dr Dennis Kim, one of the researchers involved in the study, admitted he used to think he was protected from the sun when driving.

“Because such a large proportion of a person’s cumulative sun exposure occurs while in a vehicle, automobile-related UVA exposure is a considerable public health concern. The good news is that this damage can be limited by wearing sun creams, long sleeve shirts and protective eyewear,” he added.

Non-malignant melanoma was found to occur more frequently on the driver’s window-side arm, which demonstrates how important it is to cover up in good weather.

According to the NHS, people could reduce their chances of developing skin cancer by avoiding overexposure to UV light. As well as dressing sensibly, individuals can use sun cream to make sure they are protected at all times.

As well as this, regularly checking your skin for signs of cancer can help with an early diagnosis, which will improve a person’s chances of successful treatment.