Parents risk cancer by not practising what they preach

skincare summer health

Research shows parents don’t protect themselves in the sun as much as they do their children.

Recently released figures suggest 40 percent of parents with children aged 16 or younger often forget to protect themselves in strong sun because they are concentrating on protecting their children.

The study, released by Cancer Research UK and NIVEA SUN, found over four fifths (85%) of parents surveyed are aware of the dangers of overexposure to UV radiation. However, less than half (47%), take as much care protecting their own skin as they do their children’s.

This means millions of parents are potentially risking sunburn which can increase their risk of developing skin cancer. With school summer holidays just starting in the UK, many families are enjoying the recent heat wave or are travelling to popular destinations such as Spain. Cancer Research UK and NIVEA SUN are encouraging parents to protect themselves as much as they protect their children in the hot weather.

Over half (62%) of parents questioned said they always made sure their child was wearing at least SPF 15 sunscreen and 52 percent make sure their children are always covered up with clothing, a hat or sunglasses.

This compares with only 27 percent of parents who always use a minimum of factor 15 and 19 percent who cover up in strong sunshine.

Yinka Ebo, senior health information officer at Cancer Research UK, said: “We want to help parents set the right example for their children so they grow up with a healthy attitude towards the sun.”

Advice for skincare in the sun

The campaign to encourage parents to take care of themselves as well as their children offers the following advice to people enjoying the sunshine:

  • If your shadow is shorter than you are then the sun is strong and you should seek shade.
  • Wear a T-shirt, sunglasses and a hat with a wide brim or one which covers the nape of your neck, especially for people with short hair.
  • Cancer Research UK recommends you use at least factor 15 sunscreen with a high star rating. Sunscreen rubs off easily if you sweat, swim or change clothes. So whether you’re in the UK or abroad, when the sun is strong remember to apply generously and reapply regularly

“When the sun is strong, it’s important that all family members use a combination of shade, clothing and at least factor 15 sunscreen to keep their skin protected from harmful UV rays. This will help prevent sunburn, which isn’t only painful and unpleasant – it also increases the risk of skin cancer,” added Yinka Ebo.

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