VHI urges Tipperary public NOT to feel the burn when exercising outdoors this summer

Dr Rebecca Hellen and David Gillick

The VHI have launched their Sun Safe parkrun campaign. This initiative aims to spread awareness among the Irish public about the dangers of exercising outdoors without adequate sun protection. Throughout the Summer, the VHI will provide sunscreen for parkrun participants across the country and run an educational campaign to help people be sun safe on VHI and Parkrun social media sites.  

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in Ireland with 13,000 new cases identified each year. Despite this there is a lack of awareness among the public about the dangers of the sun in this country and the effects of the sun are vastly underestimated by many.  

Dr Rebecca Hellen, Consultant Dermatologist at VHI said, “As a dermatologist, I diagnose and treat skin cancers on a daily basis. The results of the survey certainly reflect what I see and hear in clinic. Thankfully, there are some simple ways that we can reduce our skin cancer risk and still enjoy the benefits of outdoor activities, such as parkrun. 

“The first step in sun protection is to avoid exposure if possible between 11am and 3pm when the levels of harmful ultraviolet light are highest. parkruns are earlier in the morning, which is ideal. The next step is to cover up with light-weight clothing and finally the last line of defence is sunscreen, which should be applied to all areas of exposed skin.”

“Choose a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 50 that protects against UVA and UVB. Apply generously and re-apply every 2 hours or after sweating. Don’t forget to wear a hat and wear UV-protective sunglasses.” 

Launching the Sun Safe campaign VHI Ambassador David Gillick said,  

Although my World and European medals were won at indoor championships, I spent the majority of my running career outdoors and since retiring I’m a huge advocate of parkrun as the best way to start your weekend. I have to admit though that I’m as guilty as anyone else for neglecting sun protection, assuming that the sun isn’t as dangerous in Ireland. 

“VHI’s survey shows there’s a lot of education still needed on sun safety in Ireland. It has definitely made me change my attitude, and now sun protection is as much a part of my exercise routine as a good warm-up and drinking plenty of fluids. Hopefully VHI’s campaign will encourage other people to do the same!” 

To sign up for parkrun events visit – home | parkrun Ireland





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