Another day, another hilarious advert, this time for Boots Soltan (I think) - a suntan lotion. The crux of their arguement is that 'if you realised that 50% of your childs exposure to UV rays was during the summer holidays, you would protect them too!' - accompanied, of course, by the sweating, tanned picture of some waif on a lilo.
Lets think about that for a second. 52 weeks in the year right? In Newcastle we are lucky if we get anything that could be reasonably called direct sunlight between October and March. Thats six months of the year. So 26 weeks of the year have gone already.
Right, of the other 26 weeks or 182 days we have Easter, Whit and Summer school holidays. A total of 9 weeks off school. For the remaining 17 weeks, the kids are indoors during the majority of the sunshine. 85 days of school, resulting in a max of 1 hour per day sunshine (at lunchtime) and 34 days of weekend, for the purposes of this experiment, say 6 hours each weekend day. Thats 289 scorching hours of sunshine.
During the two shorter holidays, again assuming that the cherubs get 7 days of blistering sun and spend 6 hours out, baking - we have another 126 hours of sun.
So outside the summer holidays, assuming a roasting year of sun and nothing else but sunbathing, the combined total for the year sans summer hols is 415 hours of sun.
During the summer holidays, we have six weeks and six hours of sun, a paltry 252 hours of solar illness.
Hmmm...I detect sums that aren't adding up... Maybe the sunshine stuff gets more intense during the summer, that must be it? Regardless I suggest that if for the rest of the year, during the times when the sun is in the sky, the kids are either under a cover of clouds or in a classroom it makes perfect sense that they should get the majority of their exposure to sunshine when the sun in clearly in the sky and they are outside!