Poll suggests one in every 20 children has used a sunbed

Almost one in every 20 children has used a sunbed - despite under-18s being banned from using the machines, a new poll suggests. The survey found that 4.5% of under-18s are using the machines.

Live updates

Charity: Sunbeds in England should be supervised

Sunbeds in England should be supervised by trained staff to bring the country in line with the rest of Britain and help tackle the number of youngsters using the machines, Cancer Research UK said.

It's encouraging to see fewer children are using them. Rates of skin cancer are disproportionately high in younger people, which is why it's so important to protect the skin during our early years.

With many children saying they aren't being told about the risks or asked to prove their age, it's vital the Government takes action to bring England in line with the rest of the UK.

Cancer Research UK urges people not to use sunbeds for cosmetic reasons and we urge all businesses selling sunbed sessions to show responsibility and ask any customer they suspect is under 18 for proof of identity.

– Sara Osborne, Cancer Research UK's head of policy

'One in 20 children' has used a sunbed, poll suggests

One in every 20 children has used a sunbed - despite those under the age of 18 being banned from using the machines, a new poll suggests.

File photo of a woman suffering from sunburn. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

In England and Wales it has been against the law for children to use sunbeds since 2011 and in Scotland since 2009 - however a new survey found that 4.5% of under-18s are still using the machines. All sunbeds in Wales and Scotland must also be supervised by trained staff.

However, despite the law Cancer Research UK said that many children have "side-stepped" the rules by tanning at home.

In England, youngsters are using unstaffed, coin-operated sunbeds in salons, a spokesman said.

But the number of youngsters who use the machines has reduced since the law came into force - from 6.8% in 2008/9 to 4.5% now, according to research which will be presented at Public Health England's (PHE) annual National Cancer Intelligence Network conference in Birmingham.

Advertisement

Back to top