Foreign Office urges safe fun in the sun

In collaboration with the Press Association

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has urged British holidaymakers to ensure they do not burn while having fun in the sun.

Over 2,600 Britons die from malignant melanoma - the deadliest form of skin cancer - every year, and the disease is the most common form of cancer among 15 to 34-year-olds.

With many families travelling overseas for summer breaks and others keen to soak up some rays on those seemingly rare days of British sunshine, the FCO is drawing people's attention to new EU measures designed to promote safety in the sun.

In particular, consumers are urged to look out for clearer labelling on bottles of sunscreen so that they understand the level of protection provided.

Baroness Kinnock, minister for Europe, commented: "Everyone needs to know how to protect themselves from harmful rays when enjoying the sun.

"The measures introduced by the EU banning misleading terms such as 'sun blocker' and '100 per cent protection', standardising descriptions and better labelling of UV-A protection will help provide better guidance for the right type of sunscreen.

"This will help ensure that families can enjoy the sunshine without worrying about its harmful effects."

Sara Hiom, Cancer Research UK's director of health information, said that the charity "strongly supports clear sunscreen labelling across the EU".

"We believe that people should be given clear and accurate information about sunscreens so they can compare different products more easily and make more informed choices about what protection they are receiving," she said.

"It is really important to apply enough sunscreen in order to provide the protection suggested by the label. Most people do not use enough. Using at least factor 15 sunscreen with a star rating of four or five can help to protect against damage caused by ultraviolet radiation."

However, Ms Hiom noted that wearing sunscreen is not enough to protect against the harmful effects of UV rays.

"While sunscreen is one important way to protect yourself in the sun it is important to remember that sunscreen should be used together with other protective measures such as shade, clothes and sunglasses."