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Tuesday 25th October 2016

Under-11s should get free suncream

5th October 2011

A cancer charity has said that children under the age of 11 in Wales should be given free suncream to combat rising rates of skin cancer.


The charity Tenovus has a petition backing the plan and signed by more than 9,000 people, which it will present to the Welsh government.

It warned that getting sunburned as a child can double the risk of skin cancer later in life.

Tenovus points to education and raising awareness as key factors in halting a rise in skin cancer.

Over the summer it has visited outdoor events to attract support for its Here Comes the Sun campaign, which also sees it calling on the Welsh government to give under-11s suncream free on prescription.

The charity’s associate director of research Dr Ian Lewis said: “One blistering sunburn in childhood can double the risk of getting skin cancer later in life.

“We need to prevent the incidence of malignant melanoma increasing in the next generation.”

Latest figures show that 500 people in Wales are diagnosed with malignant melanoma every year, with 100 deaths.

With the cost put at £14m a year in Wales, the charity believes free suncream makes economic sense.

It also believes art of the education process would be to encourage children to apply the cream themselves.

The Welsh Government said it encourages people to take precautions to protect themselves from the sun.

A spokesman said: “The use of sun screen is only one of the measures which need to be emphasised when protecting children from the harmful effects of too much sun.”


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