SCOTTISH parents are the worst in the UK for remembering to put sun cream on their children, according to new research.
Adults north of the border are 50% less likely to always protect children from the effects of the sun, despite high rates of skin cancer.
Experts believe many parents are lulled into a false sense of security by the mistaken belief that the sun’s rays are less strong.
The same research found that Scots are 17% less likely than people in England to regard ultraviolet light coming from the sun as harmful to them or their children.
They are also 50% less likely than people south of the border to put on sun cream before setting out on a car journey.
Skin cancer is the most common type of the disease among 15 to 24-year-olds in Scotland.
It is the most common cause of cancer-related death among women in the 20s in Scotland.
Bevis Man, of the British Skin Foundation, said: “There is a general misconception that the sun in Scotland and the UK isn’t as strong as in hotter climes but the truth is that it can certainly be more than enough to cause long-term damage to the skin.”
Cancer Research UK’s senior health information officer, Yinka Ebo, said: “Children have thinner, more delicate skins than adults and are at higher risk or burning.
“And we know that sunburn can increase the risk of skin cancer in later life,” she added.
The research was carried out by a firm that makes filters for car windows to block the most harmful rays from the sun.
Leigh Smith of Melanoma Action and Support Scotland said: “We Celts burn because of our fair skin and hair, so we really should be taking precautions.
“I’ve stood on Scottish golf courses trying to persuade intelligent professional men they need to put sun cream on and have them say: ‘Of course we don’t, it’s too cold.’”