40% of children under 10 have been sunburnt

Parents blame this on getting caught off guard by unexpected sunshine (but hey, it's the UK!)

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The school holidays haven’t even begun yet, but 1 in 4 parents admit their children have already been sunburnt this year. And 2 in 5 parents say their kids under 10 have had sunburn at some point, a survey by Boots Soltan says.

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The most common reasons for sun damage were not reapplying sun cream often enough, getting caught out by the weather and not having sun cream to hand.

Read our 10 of the best sun creams for babies and toddlers – tested by mums and kids

Over half of parents don’t realise that sunburn can permanently damage their child’s skin. And 57% of parents reapply suncream only when they notice their child is looking a little pink – after the damage has been done.

“This research shows that many of us have been caught off guard when it comes to the right sun protection for our children and, with the current heat wave, we are urging all parents to be more vigilant with regards to sun safety,” Boots Soltan Suncare Expert Clare O’Connor said.

“While we can feel and see some parts of the sun’s rays, UVA and UVB rays are invisible. It’s these invisible UVA and UVB rays, however, that have visible effects on the skin such as sun damage and premature ageing.

“Whilst sitting in the shade or covering up with a t-shirt can help to reduce exposure to UV rays unfortunately they don’t offer complete protection. This is why it’s so important to make sure you’re also protecting your family with an effective sunscreen that contains a high SPF with 5* UVA protection.”

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Read more:

* How to know if you’re using the right sun cream factor

* 7 of the best sunglasses for babies

* New report says suncream does NOT prohibit vitamin D

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