Warning issued after three children end up in hospital with sunburn

sunburn warning
Credit: PA

Several children have ended up in hospital in the past two days with sunburn, sparking doctors to warn parents about the importance of sun protection.

Three youngsters have been burnt so badly they were admitted to the Burns and Plastic Surgery unit at Morriston Hospital.

Doctors have now issued a warning to parents, with extreme heat affecting Wales this weekend.

With temperatures expected to reach above 28 degrees, the advice is to ensure all children - and adults - are fully protected when in the sun and outdoors.

A spokesman for the centre said: “We have seen three children admitted in the last two days with sunburn to fairly large areas of their bodies.

“As you can imagine, it’s quite painful and could have been avoided if they had applied protection.”

Melanoma is the deadliest skin cancer and is now one of the most common cancers in young adults aged 15-34 in the UK.

One blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence more than doubles a person's chances of developing melanoma later in life.

Dr Zoe Lee said: “More than 80 per cent of all skin cancers are caused by over-exposure to the sun and/or sun beds."

Offering advice on how best to guard against sunburn Dr Zoe Lee said: “Our advice to parents is to encourage their children to play in the shade as much as possible, wear hats and long sleeves, and apply regular applications of sun cream to the skin.

“It’s also important to apply sun cream regularly and to keep hydrated.”

The British Association of Dermatologists offered the following advice to help guard from the harmful effects of too much sun:

  • Spend time in the shade during the sunniest part of the day when the sun is at its strongest, which is usually between 11am and 3pm in the summer months.

  • Avoid direct sun exposure for babies and very young children.

  • When it is not possible to stay out of the sun, keeping yourself well covered, with a hat, T-shirt, and sunglasses can give you additional protection. You can buy specialist children's sun protection clothing as well.

  • Apply sunscreen liberally to exposed areas of skin. Re-apply every two hours and straight after swimming or towelling to maintain protection.

Nurse Hannah Brew of Swansea Bay UHB’s Dermatology Department said: “Most of us do enjoy getting out in the sun, when we get chance and a break from the rain, and sunshine isn’t always bad.

“However, we must be careful because solar ultraviolet radiation is known to be carcinogenic to humans and can pass through clouds, glass, and clothing.

“There are three main types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma.

"Major factors in the formation of these cancers is sun exposure and the use of sun lamps.“