More than half of parents said they got sunburnt in the UK within the last year, as the summer holidays get off to a sweltering start.
Some 55% of parents with children under 18 got burnt, with almost three quarters (72%) saying they would be more likely to use sun protection abroad, a survey for Cancer Research UK and Nivea Sun found.
More than a third (35%) of the parents said they got burnt while in their gardens, with the beach the second most likely location for skin damage.
The first week of the school holidays has seen scorching temperatures, with the mercury exceeding 30C (86F) on Tuesday and forecasters predicting the week to get even hotter.
Parents are being encouraged to keep themselves and their children safe in the sun, with a fifth of those surveyed saying they did not feel they were setting a good example.
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The YouGov survey questioned more than 2,000 adults in the UK, of which 463 were parents, over two days in April.
McFly drummer Harry Judd, a father of two, said he wanted to raise awareness around sun safety.
He said: “The main thing I’ve taken from my involvement with Nivea Sun and Cancer Research UK is, my family and I need to be more careful in the strong UK sun – seeking the shade, covering up and wearing sunscreen even when it’s cloudy.
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“I think being in the UK, we only think we need to protect ourselves on holiday.
“My kids, Lola and Kit, look to me and my wife, Izzy, to keep them safe and copy what we do, so I will be showing them how to be safer in the sun this summer.”
Emma Shields, Cancer Research UK health information manager, said: “The UV index is the best way to know how strong the sun’s rays are, but if you don’t know the UV index for the day then you can use the ‘shadow rule’ to help you work out whether the sun is strong.
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“Simply look at your shadow and if it’s shorter than your height that means the sun’s UV rays are strong. This is also a good trick to teach your kids.
“This YouGov survey shows that being caught out by the sun in the UK could be putting parents and their children at risk.
“The UK sun can be strong enough to burn from the start of April to the end of September, even if it doesn’t feel that warm, or it’s a cloudy day – so it’s not just on holiday that you need to think about protection.”