Why is sun protection important for children and young people?

Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK and the number of cases is rising at an alarming rate.  Severe sunburn in childhood can lead to the development of malignant melanoma (the most dangerous type of skin cancer) in later life.  The good news is that the majority of these cases could be prevented. Most skin cancers are caused by ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. 


The video below from the NHS provides a useful guide to sun safety




If we protect ourselves from the sun then we can reduce our risk. This is particularly important for children and young people whose skin is more delicate and easily damaged.

There are simple steps you can take to enjoy the sun safely:

  • cover up with clothing - dress children in suitable clothing for the weather, i.e. light weight cotton clothing, t-shirt to cover the shoulders.
  • wear a hat - Please send your child to nursery wearing a comfortable wide brimmed hat or legionnaire style cap.
  • spend time in the shade
  • apply at least SPF 30 sunscreen generously and regularly – Please ensure your child has brought in a bottle of sun cream which has not been opened. The nursery staff will label the bottle and make a note of the date it was opened.  This date is important as after 12 months the cream becomes less effective in protecting your child.


The table below shows how we are all effect by the sun, regardless of our skin colour.



For more information please visit Cancer Research UK - Go online at www.cruk.org/sun

or phone the Helpline on 0808 800 4040