Parents of young kids more reckless in the sun

Aussie parents are being encouraged to practice better ‘slip, slop, slapping’, with new research showing that those with children aged 12 or under are more reckless when it comes to sun safety than people who don’t have young kids.

A Canstar Blue survey has found that 57% of parents with a child aged 12 or under often spend long periods of time in the sun without using sunscreen or wearing a hat. That compares to just 45% of those who don’t have young kids. As a result, parents are also more likely to admit getting regularly sunburnt (38% vs 25%).

In addition, parents are also more likely to have regrets about their past exposure to the sun (72% vs 63%). But many parents are now passing on their sun safety mistakes, with 32% admitting their child or children often spend long periods in the sun without using sunscreen or wearing a hat.

“It is astounding that in 2016, so many parents are still ignoring sun safety advice and are effectively playing Russian roulette with theirs and their children’s health,” said Head of Canstar Blue, Megan Doyle. “The skin cancer rates in Australia are terrifying, but it seems many parents believe they are immune to the dangers.

“Anecdotally it makes sense that parents with young children spend more time in the sun, but if anything this should make them more aware of the danger and more likely to protect themselves and their kids, not less so.

“While previous generations could point to a lack of awareness, this generation of parents has no excuse for failing to take the simple measures that reduce the risks of skin damage. Making mistakes regarding your own health is one thing, but as parents, surely the last thing you’ll want is regrets about your child’s health.”

Making the same mistakes

The survey, of almost 2,000 adults conducted during the summer months, also found that young Aussies are failing to learn the sun safety lessons of their parents and grandparents. 61% of 18-29 year-olds often spend long periods in the sun with no protection, compared to just 39% of adults in their 50s and 37% of those aged 70 and over. They are also more likely to admit getting regularly sunburnt – 42% compared to 20% of adults in their 50s and 10% of those aged 70 and over.

This is despite the majority of older Australians having regrets about their past exposure to the sun – 73% of adults in their 50s and 74% of those aged 70 plus.

“Young Aussies are making the same mistakes as their parents and grandparents and they could also live to regret it,” said Mrs Doyle. “This failure to learn from our mistakes is particularly surprising given that four out of five adults have concerns about skin cancer. Too many people seem to have fallen into the ‘it won’t happen to me’ trap, but unfortunately the statistics show it will happen to many of us.”

Highest-rated sunscreens

It’s hugely important to use sunscreen when the UV Index is 3 or above, so which sunscreens are rated highest by Australians? Survey respondents were asked to rate the brand they most recently purchased and used, with ALDI Ombra and Hamilton both receiving five stars for overall customer satisfaction. Along with the Cancer Council, they also scored top marks for effectiveness.

Hamilton was also the only brand to earn five-star reviews on ease of absorption and texture & consistency, while ALDI Ombra was the only brand to score five stars on value for money and smell/scent.

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