One experts has said parents who allow their children to get severely sunburnt should be fined.
The UK has baked in potentially record-breaking warm weather this week, which triggered an amber warning for extreme heat.
Temperatures are set to stay high next month too and some areas could reach 30C.
One expert today warned that if you fail to protect your kids properly, it’s the equivalent of “physically harming” them.
And it sparked a huge debate among parents.
Child safeguarding expert Dr Sarah Carlick said children should be protected and that this should also apply when they are out and about enjoying the heat.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain she said parents who don’t properly protect their children in the heat “should be fined” and that more education is needed so that people understand the dangers of the sun.
Asked by host Richard Madeley how parents would be policed when it comes to sunburn she said: “I don’t think I’m here to actually enforce it.
“I do think that fining and mandatory education [would help]”.
She explained that one severe blistering sunburn can double a child’s chances of getting melanoma when they grow up into an adult.
“Under the law in this country, child protection, safe guarding, physical abuse does include burning.
“So severe burning, if a child had hot water thrown over them and had been scolded, would be investigated as a safeguarding issues.
“Whether that be non-accidental or accidental injury.
“I’d like to see it to be very specific around sunburn”, she said.
The suggestion caused a stir on social media.
One mum responded: “If this happens it will stop parents seeking medical attention for their children when they need it the most for fear of getting in trouble when they most likely feel bad enough!”
Another parent said: “What about schools then?
“My son came back with really burnt legs after sitting out all day for sports day and he had sun cream on before he went.”
A third argued: “To be fair if you let your kids go out without adequate protection in extreme cold it’s abuse, extreme heat is no different really is it?”
- What do you think? Let us know in the comments.