British Skin Foundation starts petition to standardise school rules on sun safety

Health charity urges parents to sign petition to raise child sunburn issue in House of Commons

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The British Skin Foundation (BSF) has launched a petition to reduce the number of child sunburn cases in schools.

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Nurseries, primary schools and secondary schools currently have individual rules on sunscreen application and sun safety. The BSF wants to see a standardised policy to protect children and lower the number of skin disease cases.

Disagreements as to whether sunscreen is even allowed into some schools, allergy concerns and who should apply the cream and how often, has led to an influx of calls from concerned parents, the BSF has claimed.

A poll of 1,000 parents, commissioned by MPs on the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Skin (APPGS) in 2009, revealed almost 40% of pupils have experienced some form of sunburn while at school. It has further been suggested that 80% of skin damage is caused within the first 20 years of our lives.

Matthew Patey, Chief Executive of the BSF, said, “Our biggest aim with the petition is to stop children from burning. We are not advocating sunscreen as the sole means of sun protection – the first line of defence is always clothing.”

“With confusion surrounding who is responsible for making sure children are protected during school hours, and how much the school is allowed to get involved, it’s understandable that parents are concerned,” Matthew added.

The health charity needs 100,000 signatures in order to have the issue debated in the House of Commons. If you would like to sign, visit the petitions website.

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