It’s summer. The sun is shining (well it was last week), the lure of the beer garden is strong and it’s time for the annual summertime warnings.

And three of my annual ‘favourites’ are sunburn, blue-green algae and giant hogweed.

Yes, we are all aware of the need to protect ourselves from the sun when we are on the Costas. Our pale, northern European skin doesn’t take kindly to Mediterranean heat.

But the problem comes when we get that 30 degree sunshine on the couple of days a year in this country.

My attention was drawn this week to the story of an 11-year-old boy in North Wales who went out to play with his friends and ignored his mother’s warning to put on his factor 50.

As a result, he ended up with second and third degree burns and he’s now gone public with pictures of the damage.

While I don’t want to be judgemental, can you really expect any child to take responsibility here? Surely it’s up to the grown-ups to make those decisions.

Anyway, while we may not see another sunny day for the rest of year, I’ll do my public service and just remind you of the NHS advice regarding being out in the sun.

If you get burned, do:

Get out of the sun as soon as possible

Cool your skin with a cool shower, bath or damp towel

Apply aftersun cream or spray

Drink plenty of water to cool down and prevent dehydration

Take painkillers, like paracetamol

Cover sunburned skin from direct sunlight until skin has fully healed

But according to the NHS, it’s infinitely better to avoid getting burned in the first instance.

Children should always wear sun cream with at least a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30, but should never to rely on sunscreen alone.

Creams with an SPF of 50 and over offer the strongest form of UVB protection.

The NHS also highlights the importance of wearing suitable clothing and spending time in the shade when the sun’s at its hottest which is between 11am and 3pm in the UK.

And so on to blue-green algae. I noticed the warning on the Guardian’s website that blue-green algae had made its annual appearance and is a danger to dogs.

While usually green, or blue-green in colour (hence the name), they may be khaki, blue, black, dark brown or red.

Blooms of blue-green algae can form a thick scum on the surface of the water and are often cause for concern because as they start to break down they can release a range of toxins

If these toxins are ingested in large quantities they can also present risks to human health and long-term exposure of human skin to the toxins can cause irritation.

In humans in the UK the effects have been limited to illness but as the sun beats down and you fancy a cooling dip in a piece of open, the advice is: Don’t.

Which brings me to my last summer warning, and an old favourite of mine – giant hogweed.

Giant Hogweed was introduced into the UK by the Victorians as an ornamental plant.

It escaped into the wider countryside and gained notoriety in the 1970s as an alien species that can grow up to 12ft in height.

In the 1970s children started to display blisters as a result of touching the plant’s sap while using the stems to make pea-shooters or telescopes.

Sunlight makes the skin sensitive to the irritants in the plant, causing the skin to redden. Today, it is widely acknowledged you shouldn’t attempt to cut the plant down as its toxins can cause serious, recurring skin damage.

It can often be found on riverbanks so you may get more than you bargained for on that pleasant stroll.

Anyway, enjoy your summer, stay safe and roll on autumn and winter.