Teenagers warned to remember sun cream

Make sure you don't get caught out this summer.
Make sure you don't get caught out this summer.

Teenagers have been urged to take care of their skin in the sun after a poll found two in five have burned because they forgot to put sun cream on.

The survey for the Teenage Cancer Trust found that 41% of 13 to 24-year-olds had burned after forgetting to apply sunscreen.

The poll of 1,000 teenagers and young adults also found that 30% had burned after getting wet and not reapplying, and others burned because they were out and had not taken sunscreen with them.

A fifth said they had burned after wanting to "tan quickly".

The charity said youngsters need to take care of their skin by regularly applying sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and wearing a hat and sunglasses.

It said that across the UK, more than two 15 to 34-year-olds are diagnosed with skin cancer every day, making it the second most common cancer in the age group.

Natasha Brown was 23 when she was diagnosed with melanoma.

The HR worker, from Surrey, said: "I was just so shocked that I could get skin cancer at such a young age. I don't think there is enough information out there for young people about the risks of not protecting yourself in the sun.

"If it can be prevented, it's absolutely crucial to go to those lengths to do so. I had no idea of the impact of a melanoma, or how quickly it could spread, or how invasive the surgery is.

"I'm passionate about spreading the word because I would hate for anyone else to go through what I did.

"I was always careful in the sun. I'm quite fair, and was brought up to make sure I'm protected by wearing lots of sunscreen.

"Whenever I see people sunbathing or posting photos of their sunburn on social media, I just want to tell them to be careful. I got melanoma and I was careful in the sun, which makes it even more important to take those precautions."

Susie Rice, head of education and awareness programmes at the Teenage Cancer Trust, said: "We know how easy it can be to forget your sunscreen, but Natasha's story shows how important it is to protect yourself.

"Melanoma is one of the most preventable cancers, so we want to get the message out that young people can enjoy the sun safely by following a few easy steps like regularly applying sunscreen with at least SPF 30, wearing a hat to protect your head and neck, and keeping eyes safe with sunglasses."