A skin cancer charity has called for sun safety to be made a mandatory part of the curriculum after a survey showed that large numbers of children suffer sunburn at school.
Skin Cancer UK (SCUK) called on the government and teachers to do more to protect children from harmful UV rays after nearly 40% of parents surveyed said their children had arrived home from school burned as a result of spending too much time in the sun.
Children's skin is particularly sensitive to the sun's rays, the charity claimed, making them extra vulnerable to skin cancer in later life.
Richard Clifford, a leading member of SCUK and trustee of the Karen Clifford Skin Cancer Charity, said: "Children who are over-exposed to the sun are storing up problems for the future.
"It is therefore imperative to encourage the use of sunscreens and sun protection to minimise their risk. Together with a shady area to play in and the wearing of hats, we would like to see provision made for teachers to take a role in the 'common sense' application and availability of sunscreens and protection."