tips on staying cool text with images of a water glass, a house, clothes

“We’re having a heatwave…” as the song goes. Comms teams across the UK’s local public sector have been encouraging residents to protect themselves from the high weather temperatures this summer. Here we highlight some of the key ways you can keep yourself safe, hydrated and able to enjoy the sun. For more detail on the tips featured in the graphic below, visit the LPS’ channel on Twitter at

NHS England South has a message for men working outdoors – #CoverUpMate! – aimed at changing behaviour and encouraging more of this target group to use appropriate sun blocks and be aware of the risk of skin cancer. Skin cancer in men is increasing at a faster rate than it is in women, according to the NHS campaign being delivered with the assistance of public services including NHS regional organisations, hospitals and local clinical commissioning groups (CCG).

skin cancer in men is increasing at a faster than it is in women

Cartoon pictures of men balding with the message to 'cover up' in the sun due to the cancer riskOxfordshire County Council, one of the many local authorities, supporting the campaign, highlighted. “It’s an absolute scorcher out there. Do cover up, especially if you’re thinning a bit on top!”

East Sussex County Council focused on getting the sunscreen message to builders, farmers, gardeners who may be at higher risk of skin cancer due to the length of time they are working outdoors in the sun.

The campaign highlights that May to August are ‘the highest risk months to be outside when ultra-violet (UV) rates are higher’.

Great Western NHS Hospital, one of the NHS Hospitals taking part in the campaign, focused on encouraging families to spread the advice to their fathers, husbands, sons, brothers or male friends who work outside.

Some of the tips from the NHS campaign which has been running since 2016:

  • use at least factor 15 sunscreen in the sun and use plenty of it
  • apply sunscreen to all exposed skin – don’t forget your neck, ears, and your head if you have thinning or no hair
  • wear sunglasses and a hat
  • if it’s very hot, spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm
  • take particular care if you have fair skin, moles or freckles, red or fair hair, or light-coloured eyes
  • you can still get sunburnt on cool days as you can’t feel ultra-violet (UV) rays
  • sunburn increases your risk of cancer later in your life.

Resources available to public services to take part in the campaign

NHS England South has created a number of downloadable resources on the CoverUpMate! campaign, available free to local public services, workplaces and others to use in targeting high risk groups in their communities. There are social media materials and posters available.

If you can not view the graphic below, visit the CIPR LPS channel on Twitter

NHS England South’s CoverUpMate! campaign launch, June 2017

Skin cancer in England – Slideshare from the ONS, published June 2016


Blog by Abha Thakor and thanks to services which have highlighted contributions


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