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Sunburn Fine Proposal Sparks Debate

Good Morning Britain featured a segment about sunburn this morning – it was proposed that parents of sunburnt children should be FINED!

After three children were recently admitted to Swansea hospital with bad sunburn, doctors have issued a stern warning to parents about sun safety and the dangers of sunburn.  The Met Office has issued a weather warning last week with some areas of the UK set to hit a scorching 33 degrees celcius – so, it is crucial that we keep sun safety in mind!

However, during the Good Morning Britain segment in question, it was questioned whether sunburn in children is in fact a form of child neglect. This sparked a heated debate online amongst parents and caregivers!


We can see why this has sparked such a furore! 

Sunburn is, of course, something that we should avoid especially in our children. However, is it fair to penalise parents in such a manner? It’s important to consider that there may be circumstances beyond their control. We asked the parents over in our online community what they thought of the proposed fine; did they agree or disagree? In addition, we asked them to leave comments going into more detail.

The poll results showed us that 98% of parents in our community do not agree with the proposed fine, and 2% did.

The comments were more varied though; we had some really interesting and balanced input from a lot of the parents who participated in the debate…

Steph pointed out;

“I do think sun cream should be more educational… putting sun cream on doesn’t mean they can sit in the sun all day! They shouldn’t be out in the sun during the 4 hour time it’s really hot! They should be wearing loose covered clothing with a hat on to protect the face too, sat in shade where possible and then the sun cream is just added protection… I guarantee the kids who are burnt and blistered were not covered and were not in the shade where possible so I think education is key then yes fine them! Unnecessary pain and skin issues that can carry on later in life.”

Rachel felt that it was a case of repeated instances;

Depends… if neglect/failure to cover them at all/repeated occasions then maybe.
Jess didn’t agree with the fine, from personal experience as someone with fair skin;
Don’t agree, you can only do your best. While I’d argue there is no need for a baby to ever have sunburn, a child who is mobile and a bit more independent running off and back again in the sun it’s all too easy for it to happen. Every kid is different and needs different amounts in different sun strengths, it’s so hard to get it right every time. I feel for all the mothers to pasty kids, I was one and had suncream on all the time and just burned through it, even as an overly cautious adult I’ve been known to start burning in the sun beforenive even finished applying my factor 50 white emulsion paint!
The overall feedback was generally not in favour with the proposed fine – with some good points made on both sides.
Many of our parents did point out that if there is a real concern for safeguarding or neglect, then they did agree with the proposal. We fully agree that sun safety is a really important issue for parents and that we should be making sure that we are educated and prepared for all weather extremes! We have a handy guide on sun safety tips here and a great guide on the best swimwear including swimsuits to protect from the sun here.

Read more on NHS sun safety information here.

Tell us your thoughts in the comments – we’d be interested to hear!

Cover image credit: Good Morning Britain

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