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Winter holidaymakers offered safety tips

13 December 2011
Ski News brought to you by SkiWeekends.com, specialists in Bargain Ski Holidays and Ski Holidays in France.

People heading on ski holidays and other winter sports trips this season have been offered some advice on how to stay safe on the slopes and ensure they have nothing but good memories to bring back from the slopes.

Kimberley Carter of the British Association of Dermatologists said that many people forget that skiing and snowboarding also carry a high risk of sunburn when they set off for the slopes.

She explained: "If people are lucky enough to be trading the British rain for the sunny slopes of a ski resort, bear in mind that skiers risk soaking up as many dangerous ultraviolet (UV) rays as sun worshippers hitting the beach."

The expert added that UV radiation can be more severe in alpine regions than at sea level, as the amount of UV rays that reach the Earth's surface increases by up to five per cent for every 1,000 ft above sea level people are, so a mountain 10,000 ft high receives 50 per cent more UV exposure than an area at sea level.

In addition, water is very efficient at reflecting, rather than absorbing, UV radiation, while UV rays bounce off snow and ice in all directions and can penetrate through clouds and fog.

Ms Carter said that, depending on the age of the snow, around 50 to 90 per cent of UV radiation is reflected, which puts areas such as the chin and nose tip at increased risk of sunburn.

"So don't forget to pack a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 30 and reapply it regularly to all exposed areas of skin if you are hitting the slopes. UV radiation is at its highest between 10am and 3pm," she added.

It comes after Liz Segre, editorial director of AllAboutVision.com, recently noted that the sun sends out UV light in both winter and summer, regardless of whether it is sunny or cloudy.

On a snow-covered mountain, the problem is compounded because the light bounces off the snow and directly into people's eyes, which makes it all the more important that people on ski weekends take precautions to ensure their time on the mountains is safe as well as fun.

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Posted by Bill SperryADNFCR-1958-ID-801237440-ADNFCR

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