Campaigners are calling for any parent or guardian that allows a child to get severely sunburnt should be reported to social services.
They believe that parents are guilty of neglect if their child becomes so sunburnt that they require hospital treatment. Charities for Skin Cancer and Burns victims have said that should hospital staff have any concerns when treating a child with sunburn, they should report it immediately to social services.
This campaigning has come as result of hospitals reporting increased numbers of sunburn cases being admitted; with a lot being children and babies as young as four weeks.
Chair of the Melanoma Action and Support, Leigh Smith, said "I'm not surprised to hear that children are being taken to A&E wards. It is very serious. These parents have tripled their children's chances of getting skin cancer".
Malignant Melanoma is the most common cancer in people aged between 15 and 34 years old, and occurs as a result of getting sunburnt.
"We also need to make sure schools are protecting children from sunburn while they are there. As far as I'm concerned it is child protection issue" Leigh said.
Founder of the charity Burned Children's Club, Pat Wade said, "The agony these children can suffer is horrendous. With all the advice out there children should not be getting burned. It's neglect...You can buy sun cream for as little as £1 a bottle. Even if you don't have a lot of money you should be able to protect your child."
She went on to say "If a child comes into your A&E ward after abuse you phone social services. I am not saying health staff should do that for every parent who brings in a child with sunburn, but they should use their own initiative".
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