NHS England and the Met Office have issued a warning about parents’ “worryingly relaxed attitude” to sun safety as new research revealed that one in 10 parents with children aged two to seven years old encourage their child to sunbathe.
A study conducted for both bodies found that 37% of parents mistakenly believe that a suntan is a sign of good health, while 7% have never applied sunscreen to their children.
Of the 1,001 parents surveyed who have children up to the age of 11, 34% said they thought a sun tan helps build resistance to the sun, and more than a fifth said they do not apply sunscreen on their child until they are visibly starting to burn. However, it’s not just children who are at higher risk because of lax sun protection.
In research presented at the British Association of Dermatologists’ Annual Conference last month, researchers from the University of Liverpool found that when applying sunscreen adults miss on average 10% of their face, with eyelids the area most commonly missed.