Gail's Gab: embrace the sun but be careful

Weather wise, this Easter Sunday was surely the best we've had for many years.

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Gail says we should be careful when it comes to going out in the sun
Gail says we should be careful when it comes to going out in the sun

The children were able to don their bright clothes and put on their Easter bonnets. We even had to hold back on hiding the chocolate eggs for the egg hunt in case they melted. A taste of last summer's glorious balmy days has crept back into our minds. We had a great day in the garden soaking up the rays. After a period of monsoon like conditions and the drab and dreary days that accompany so much rain we get a wee glimpse of sunshine and the immediate emergence of the half-naked bodies on our streets as sun starved Glaswegians attempt to bathe in what little sun we get. I simply can't blame them. It would be interesting to assess the levels of vitamin D deficiencies in our children as we definitely suffer from so little sunlight. Only problem is the harsh reality of life kicks in by the holiday Monday when Cancer Research UK launches statistics to expose a six-fold increase in recorded cases of skin cancer associated with over-exposure to the sunlight and the ultraviolet rays emitted by sun beds. What a horrible dilemma.

Sunshine and sun beds are dangerous. It may sound grumpy to state that fact but without care the number of skin cancer cases will just keep rising. I feel a bit hypocritical because I still indulge in the odd sun bed session, much less than I used to, so I understand the desire to have a wee bit of colour. Tommy is worse than me. He hates what he calls his 'peelly wally' look. Sure we all like a nice tan. But is the price of such vanity too high to pay? I guess what I am arguing for is moderation. Those fair skinned Glaswegians out there in particular have to be ultra-cautious. And for those able to save up enough pennies for a wee trip abroad be warned that burning is actually bad for you so apply the high factor protection creams for at least the first few days and cover the kids up at the hottest part of the days in particular. I sound like a killjoy as I read this back but I would rather you were over exposed to good advice than over exposed to sunlight or sun beds.

Fining parents is not the answer

On the topic of holidays abroad I note the increasing hullabaloo over school children being withdrawn from school during term times by parents anxious to avoid the extra charges applied to holiday packages during school breaks. Many local authorities in England are applying fines to punish the parents for such actions. Like all debates there are at least two sides. Schools are worried about the educational development of the child being harmed while parents are just anxious to give their kids a great holiday. Personally I think the biggest villains here are the travel companies and airlines. The level of surcharges imposed can be ridiculously steep. Government should pro-actively intervene to prevent such blatant market manipulation which takes advantage of hard pressed families desires to have a decent holiday with their kids. I certainly don't believe fining parents is the answer to this problem.

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