Survey reveals parents do not always practice what they preach
North West mums and dads are being urged to take steps to protect themselves in the sun over the summer holidays.
The warning comes as results of a new survey by Cancer Research UK and NIVEA SUN reveal parents frequently forget to look after their own skin in strong sunshine, while caring for their children.
With around 990,000 school-age children living in the North West, it’s vital that mums and dads in the region are setting the right example for their kids when it comes to being safe in strong sun.
The poll, which surveyed parents in the UK with children under the age of 18, revealed that:
- 55 per cent admitted to becoming sunburnt in the UK after prioritising their children’s sun protection above their own.
- Almost a third (32 per cent) always or often go out in strong sun without protecting their skin at all.
- Only a third of parents cover up with clothes or a hat when out in strong sun compared to 70 per cent of parents who make sure their children are wearing a long sleeved top or wide brimmed hat.
- 83 per cent said that they always ensure their child is wearing at least factor 15 sunscreen compared with only 44 per cent who do the same for themselves.
- 72 per cent ensure their children spend time in the shade, but 23 per cent rarely or never spend time in the shade themselves.
Jane Bullock, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for the North West said: “While a lot mums and dads are great at ensuring their kids are protected with clothing, shade and sunscreen, it’s clear that when it comes to their own sun safety – too many are putting themselves last.
“Even on days where the weather is overcast, you may still need to protect your skin from sunburn as UV rays can still penetrate through cloud cover. Checking the UV index on the weather forecast helps you know when you need to protect yourself – if it’s 3 or more, you could be at risk of sunburn.
“Cancer Research UK has joined forces with NIVEA SUN to raise vital awareness and funds for research. By following some simple tips and taking care not to burn – parents can help their whole family enjoy the sun safely, now and in the future.”
Sarah Williams, health information manager at Cancer Research UK said, “We all need some sun for healthy bones, but it’s important not to overdo it, so it’s great to see parents taking measures to protect their children from strong sun. However, parents must practise what they preach to avoid being burnt themselves. Getting sunburnt once every two years can triple the risk of skin cancer.
“We want to help parents set a great example to their children so they have a healthy attitude towards the sun and can enjoy it safely. Spending time in the shade and covering up with clothing are the best ways to protect you and your family from strong sun. And use plenty of sunscreen with at least SPF15 and 4 or more stars to help protect the parts you can’t cover.”
For more sun safety information from Cancer Research UK visit www.cruk.org/sun