Ulster Council Advice

ULSTER GAA: Take care in the sun – be UV aware

FOR many years, Ulster GAA have partnered with Cancer Focus NI to promote cancer awareness, and in particular, skin cancer awareness through their Care in the Sun campaign.

This campaign aims to help us to better understand the importance of taking care in the sun – even here in Ireland. Skin cancers are increasingly common in this part of the world, but there are some things we can all do to minimise our risk.

Cancer Focus NI supported by the Public Health Agency (PHA) wants to promote the importance of enjoying the sun safely. Their key message is that care in the sun is vital, whether at home or abroad, and in cool, cloudy weather as well as on brighter, sunny days.

Sunlight is important for our overall health and wellbeing. However, too much ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can cause damage to the skin and lead to skin cancer.

The most accurate way of knowing your risk of sun damage is the UV index. The UV index, developed by the World Health Organisation, has a scale of 0 – 11+. In Ireland the UV levels are often three or more, even on cool or cloudy days.

When the UV index is three or more, the rays from the sun can be strong enough to damage our skin and eyes. Skin is damaged by sun exposure over our lifetimes, whether having experienced a burn or not.

Tips to protect your skin from UV damage and reduce your risk of skin cancer:

– Stay in the shade between 11am and 3pm.

– Cover up with suitable clothing.

– Wear a broad brim hat and sunglasses with 100% UV protection.

– Use sunscreen SPF 30+ UVA 4-5 stars.

– Use the correct amount of sunscreen and reapply every two hours – an adult needs six teaspoons distributed evenly on the body with an SPF of at least 30 and 4-5 star UVA protection.

– Never allow your skin to burn.

– Don’t use sunbeds.

If you require any further information about keeping safe in the sun you can visit the website If you are concerned about skin cancer you can call the Cancer Focus free information and support helpline on 0800 783 3339 or email one of the charity’s nurses on

Mobile phone weather apps and the Met Éireann app display the current UV in your area so check this out before heading out.

Ulster GAA used their Ulster Football Championship final to promote the Care in the Sun message.

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