It is vital to provide education about the sun

Taylor Stanfield-Lees, three, and Brooke Stanfield-Lees, seven, play in the water on South Shore beach.
Taylor Stanfield-Lees, three, and Brooke Stanfield-Lees, seven, play in the water on South Shore beach.

As the weather warms up and the sun makes an appearance, knowing how to protect yourself in the heat is vital.

The British Association of Dermatologists found that 40 per cent of people surveyed never check for signs of skin cancer and that 77 per cent do not feel confident in even recognising the signs.

Melanoma, a form of skin cancer, is the fifth most common type of cancer in the UK, with roughly 13,000 cases diagnosed each year.

Colin Bloomfield, BBC Radio Derby Presenter set up the Colin Bloomfield Melanoma Appeal to raise awareness of the disease and fundraising to make Derbyshire and East Staffordshire the ‘sun safe capital of the UK’.

After suffering with melanoma when he was only 21, last month Colin died in a hospice of stage four cancer, aged only 33 after a long battle with the disease.

The appeal has raised more than £97,000 for sun safety in schools in Derbyshire and East Staffordshire and continues to increase.

Sun Safe Schools believes that schools have a duty of care to protect children from the sun by providing education on the effects of sunlight on the skin and how to prevent sunburn.

Schools in Derbyshire can register for a Sun Safe School award that can be achieved in four simple steps.

These steps focus on sun cream, hats, shades, hydration and regular assemblies to ensure that children know the importance of sun safety.

With children spending approximately eight hours per week outdoors at school, it is vital for Derbyshire schools and nurseries to get behind the scheme.

One way of checking for melanoma is by remembering ABCDE.

Asymmetrical: melanomas have two very different halves and are an irregular shape.

Border: unlike a normal mole, melanomas have a notched or ragged border.

Colours: melanomas will be a mix of two or more colours.

Diameter: unlike most moles, melanomas are larger than 6mm (0.25in).

Enlargement or elevation: a mole that changes characteristics and size over time is more likely to be a melanoma.

For more information on sun safety or how to register your school, search Sun Safe Schools.