Almost 40 per cent of children have been sunburnt at school, a new report by Skin Cancer UK has revealed.

The charity has urged for children to be taught about skin cancer safety in schools, as damage to their extra-sensitive skin could make them vulnerable to skin cancer in later life.

The survey looked at the experiences of 1,000 adults across the UK, half of which were parents. Yet 45 per cent of those questioned said they did not worry about getting the disease.

As a result, the charity has called for a change in attitude to skin cancer, as well as an "enforceable policy" on sun safety in schools, based on national guidelines.

Campaign supporter Dr Andrew Wright, consultant dermatologist at St Luke's Hospital, Bradford, said: "The evidence shows that sunburn as a child, when the skin is most sensitive, doubles the risk of developing skin cancer later in life.

"It's one of the most damaging things that can happen to skin, so it's worrying to learn that so many of our children are getting burned at school.

"While I don't advocate avoiding the sun altogether, young children must be protected from the heat of the sun, particularly in the middle of the day during summer months."

Posted by Robert Mair on 13.5.11 Comment on this article by sending it to: penny.hosie@pavpub.com 

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