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Scots urged to soak up the sunshine while we can. Pic: Colin Mearns/Newsquest Media
Troon beach
Update by news editor   26-03-2012

Record-breaking sunshine

Scotland hotter than Majorca

Scotland basked in record-breaking sunshine yesterday as temperatures reached the highest level ever measured here in March.

A high of 22.8°C (73F) - the best in the UK - was recorded at Fyvie Castle in Aberdeenshire.

The previous record was 22.2°C way back in 1965.

A mere 10°C is the average temperature for this time of year.

Across the country, parks and beaches were packed as temperatures soared above Majorca and other Mediterranean holiday spots.

Major roads across Scotland were busy as families took advantage of the heat.

And the really good news is that the weather is set to continue for at least a few more days!

Forecasters say that conditions will become more unsettled after Saturday, and there may even be snow back on the mountains by the end of the weekend.

So, the advice of weather experts is to make the most of this week!

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Record-breaking sunshine

Soak up the sun for a good vitamin D boost

As Scotland enjoys its highest ever temperatures for March, health experts are urging us all to get outside and soak up the sunshine.

Arthritis Research UK said it is really important to top up our vitamin D levels by exposing our face and arms to sunshine.

Vitamin D is essential to help the body absorb calcium from food. Low levels can cause serious problems with our bones.

A lack of vitamin D can result in bone loss, weak muscles and an increased risk of falls and fractures.

Our main source of vitamin D is sunshine. Skin reacts to sunlight to create the nutrient.

Darker-skinned people, such as those of South Asian or Afro-Caribbean origin, are at greater risk of having a Vitamin D shortage. Among these groups there have even been cases of children with rickets - a condition that can cause bones to become soft and deformed.

But very fair-skinned people have been found to have dangerously low levels of the vitamin too, according to research published last year.

Scientists funded by Cancer Research UK said that people with very pale, freckly skin who have to avoid the sun to escape being burnt should take extra vitamin D supplements.

"When the days are sunny, go out for a few minutes and expose your face and arms to the sunshine," said Alan Silman, from Arthritis Reasearch UK.

"Don't allow your skin to go red, and take care not to burn, particularly in strong sunshine and if you have fair or sensitive skin. From June to August just fifteen minutes is generally enough time," he added.

When the sun goes in again, which is forecast to be by the end of the weekend, we should top up our vitamin D levels through diet and even tablets, the charity says.

Oily fish such as salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel, pilchards and sardines are all good sources of the "sunshine vitamin". Some foods have had extra vitamin D added to them - often labelled as "fortified" with the nutrient, such as cereals and some margarines.

Campaign groups have called for free vitamin D supplements for pregnant women and children. Shine on Scotland claims the Scottish government has not done enough to make sure that children don't develop conditions like rickets and multiple sclerosis (MS).

Alan Mclaughlin, Shine's campaign manager, said: "Scotland has the highest rate of MS in the world. An estimated 90% of the population has a vitamin D deficiency, while for the rest of the UK it's 75 to 80%. Rickets have also become prevalent again in Scotland."

"It costs 47p for a two-month supply of the supplement. Is the Government really saying a child's health is not worth a few pounds a year?"

Families on very low incomes receive free vitamin D as part of the Healthy Start scheme, and in some local authorities it is made available to other people too. The government says it is up to the local authorities to decide whether or not to give it away free to everyone.


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adapted from article by Russell Leadbetter
read original story here

Experiences & Outcomes

  • By comparing my local area with a contrasting area outwith Britain, I can investigate the main features of weather and climate, discussing the impact on living things. SOC 2-12a
  • I can investigate the relationship between climate and weather to be able to understand the causes of weather patterns within a selected climate zone. SOC 3-12a
  • I can demonstrate an understanding of weather and climate by explaining the relationship between weather and air pressure. SOC 4-12c
  • I am developing my understanding of the human body and can use this knowledge to maintain and improve my wellbeing and health. HWB 2-15a / HWB 3-15a / HWB 4-15a
  • By investigating some body systems and potential problems which they may develop, I can make informed decisions to help me to maintain my health and wellbeing. SCN 2-12a