40% parents aren’t using suncream on their families on UK holidays

Many parents believe the UK sun is less damaging than the sun abroad

NIVEA SUN® launches the NIVEA SUN Family Beach guide to help parents get clued-up on sun safety and have a fun-filled family holiday

New research from NIVEA SUN reveals a relaxed attitude to sun safety at home; with a startling 1 in 5 parents believing the UK sun is less damaging than the sun abroad. 


NIVEA SUN’s comprehensive research amongst 1500 UK parents reveals a lack of concern and awareness regarding sun safety, which may be putting their children’s skin at risk.  Around 40% of parents do not use suncream on their families during the UK summer and half don’t take any fresh water, hats or sunglasses for their kids on UK beach holidays.

 These figures are quite alarming.  “NIVEA SUN wants families to enjoy the sun this summer and we want to encourage parents to protect their children when out in the sun to reduce the risk of long term skin damage” says NIVEA SUN brand manager, Richard Duplock.  While the UK isn’t famous for its sunny, clear blue skies, there is still a risk of sunburn even on cloudy days, as up to 80% of the sun’s rays can penetrate through light clouds.

“Children’s skin is sensitive to sun damage so parents need to choose a higher Sun Protective Factor (SPF) for kids than they do for themselves, and apply it very liberally,” Antony Young from King’s College London.


Worryingly, 1 in 5 parents don’t realise their children’s skin is sensitive to sun, and over half of all parents surveyed are unaware that repeated sunburn can cause long lasting damage to their children’s skin.  77% of parents don’t think pink or sore skin necessarily means sun damage, and over 1/3 of parents are unaware about the damage caused by peeling, red skin or blisters.  Half of all parents don’t reapply suncream each time their children come out of the water - when their children’s skin is most vulnerable and 71% of parents wish there were long-lasting water resistant suncreams available for kids.  To help families enjoy the sun more safely this summer, NIVEA SUN has launched a new product,NIVEA SUN Swim & Play,so kids can have fun and stay protected in and out of the water for longer.  The long lasting water resistant formula also contains dexpanthanol to help protect the skin from sea salt and chlorine.

 Around 56% of families have experienced sunburn 1-3 times in the past 2 years.  Part of the problem is that 1 in 3 parents believe suncreams provide complete 100% protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays. 

 “Children’s skin is sensitive to sun damage so parents need to choose a higher Sun Protective Factor (SPF) for kids than they do for themselves, and apply it very liberally,” saysProfessor Antony Young from King’s College London. “Take into consideration their age and skin tone - children with fairer skin need higher protection and a baby’s skin is extremely sensitive to the sun.”  Despite this advice, 70% of parents don’t consider their kid’s age or skin tone when using suncream, with many using the same SPF for all the family.

The research also revealed:

  • 40% of parents don’t apply suncream on their children even if it is very sunny
  • 58% of parents underestimate the quantity of suncream required for an effective application
  • 1/3 of parents don’t realise that once opened, suncreams should be used within a certain period of time
  • The majority of parents surveyed only apply suncream 2-3 times a day, even if their children are playing out in the sun all day
  • When their kids get sunburnt, only 15% of parents worry that their children’s skin may be damaged

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