Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Sports pupils 'must wear sun cream'

PE teachers should tell pupils to wear sun cream on hot days, a charity said

PE teachers need to take more responsibility for the skin care of their pupils, a charity warned after it emerged that almost three quarters of students have never been told to wear sun cream before a lesson.

Pupils need to be encouraged to protect their skin from harmful UV rays, the Teenage Cancer Trust said.

Research conducted on behalf of the charity found that 70% of students have never been encouraged to wear sun cream before a sports lesson even though 83% of them would wear it if they were asked.

A survey of more than 1,000 13 to 24-year-olds, also found that more than half of young people never apply sun cream during sport.

Simon Davies, chief executive of the Teenage Cancer Trust, said: "With everyone's focus on sport this summer, we need schools and clubs to help us educate young people to take care of their skin in the sun.

"By working together, we can help protect the future health of young people."

University of Glasgow Professor of Dermatology Rona MacKie added: "We know that it is the damage done to skin when young that can increase your chance of developing skin cancer in later life.

"Sun safety should be an integral part of young people's daily routine and sports teachers and coaches need to play a part in advocating this."

In the last 20 years, the incidence rate of malignant melanoma in 15 to 24-year-olds in the UK has increased by 48%, according to Cancer Research UK.

Each year around 12,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with melanoma and 2,000 die from the disease.

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