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Are parents who let their children get sunburn guilty of neglect?

It’s safe to say the majority of people probably suffered from sunburn at least once or twice as a child.

However, with skin cancer cases continuing to rise in the UK, a group of campaigners has called on parents to take greater responsibility to ensure their kids are protected from the sun’s harmful rays.

According to Melanoma Action and Support Scotland, allowing a child to get badly burnt is neglect and parents who do so should be referred to social services.

Leigh Smith, chair of the organisation, commented: “Malignant melanoma is the most common cancer in young adults aged 15-34 in the UK and it happens from getting sunburned.

“We also need to make sure schools are protecting children from sunburn while they are there. As far as I’m concerned it is a child protection issue.”

Her comments were made in response to reports that the recent hot weather experienced across the UK has seen several youngsters – including a baby of just four weeks – omitted to accident and emergency wards with severe burns.

“It’s very serious. These parents have tripled their children’s chances of getting skin cancer,” Ms Smith stated.

Founder of charity the Burned Children’s Club Pat Wade has expressed her support for this view. She claimed that with a large amount of information about the dangers of the sun now available, there is no excuse for parents not ensuring their children are protected.

Whether people whose kids suffer from sunburn are guilty of neglect is open for debate. However, the importance of keeping your children safe in the sun cannot be disputed. Getting badly burned as a youngster is proven to increase the risk of contracting skin cancer in later life, which means ensuring your little ones are protected is absolutely vital.

Installing a Shaded Nation shade sail is a perfect way of doing this. Our shades can block up to 98.8 per cent of harmful UV rays and by doing so they protect your children and provide you with welcome peace of mind.


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