Shunburn 2014

We know that it’s the damage done to your skin when you’re young that could lead to skin cancer developing in later life, so it’s important to avoid the pain and shame of the lobster look by following these five simple steps…

  • Cover up your skin
    Throw on a long sleeved shirt or top that ideally has a collar and a sarong or long shorts to banish those burning rays.

  • Slap on the suncream
    Apply generous amounts of water resistant suncream of at least SPF30 and above, to clean, dry skin before going out in the sun.

  • Wear a hat or cap
    Whether its cowboy hat, a floppy hat or baseball cap, all are good at keeping the heat off your head, face neck and ears.

  • Slip on the shades
    Don’t forget, your eyes need protection too!

  • Chill out in the shade
    When the sun’s rays are strongest between 11am and 3pm, reach for the shade and sit under a tree, building or umbrella.


A five minute film presented by TV and radio presenter Jameela Jamil talking about five easy ways to stay safe in the sun

Schools failing students by having no sun safety policies

As part of Teenage Cancer Trust’s 2013 Shunburn campaign we asked teachers and pupils about the level of support, information and advice given about sun safety.

A staggering 97% of secondary school teachers have admitted to not having or not knowing if their school has a sun safety policy to protect students from skin damage caused by the sun during school hours.

We found a quarter (24%) of teachers believed it wasn’t their responsibility to create a sun safety policy, whilst a further one in ten (10%) explained it would take too much time to create and implement. Half (50%) of teachers had never encouraged pupils to wear a hat in the sun, a third (31%) had never prompted students to stay in the shade during the hottest parts of the day and a fifth (20%) had never encouraged students to apply suncream whilst at school.

We are now calling on all parents with children of school age to demand a review of their school’s sun safety policy to coincide with the start of the new school term in September and for it to be in line with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommendations for skin cancer prevention, which is specifically aimed at the education sector.

Download the letter now.

Find out more information about our survey results

Sun safety with sports stars

We’ve been speaking to some of our greatest sportsmen and women for their advice on staying safe in the sun.

England rugby union team captain Chris Robshaw

“Rugby is my passion and it doesn’t matter if it’s raining or we’re in the middle of a heatwave, everyday I’m outside either training, playing professionally or just having a kick about with mates. I would hate the fact that sunburn could stop me from doing this for a few days. Not only that but I’d also never live down the ribbing I would get from my team mates if I turned up looking like a red lobster!”

Women’s England Rugby player Danielle Waterman

“From my experience a lot of people really don’t pay enough attention to sun safety when playing sport. I have quite fair skin and playing Rugby Sevens in boiling hot countries, I must admit, has left me with some quite interesting and painful burn lines which I do regret! I have learnt the hard way that when playing sport or doing any form of exercise that you should keep reapplying suncream throughout the day and wear cooling clothing that covers up some of your skin.”

Download: A3 Poster

Stick up this poster in your school, college, common room, or form room...

Download: Leaflet

Give all your friends, colleagues, pupils a copy of this leaflet...

Download: Teaching Pack

This pack is designed to help you create interesting and engaging lessons around Teenage Cancer Trust’s five key sun safety messages and our mantra “Love the sun, respect your skin”...

We want to hear from you!

Teenage Cancer Trust wants to hear what you think about sunbeds, suncream and sunburn by filling out this short survey

Fake it!

Just one session a month on a sunbed can increase your risk of skin cancer by more than half.

Check out your local chemist or department store for fake tans that give great colour without the grave health risks. Fake tan products don't offer sun protection, so keep your five steps for sun safety in mind when you use them.

Free Burn Alerts

Teenage Cancer Trust offers a free burn alert text message service which reminds you to stay safe in the sun during the hottest days of the year. To sign-up, text the word BURN2 to 70300.


Phoebe's story

“I am incredibly pale and burn very easily. I’ve never been a sun worshiper or used sunbeds but as I got older I wasn't careful. Whether I was sitting in the garden at home or on holiday abroad I burnt my skin sometimes really badly and didn't take the risks seriously. My advice is to be very careful in the sun and don't get burnt. I now have to live with the consequences and have lost all feeling in my left arm due to my surgery. So please cover up, use suncream and try and stay in the shade.” Read more about Phoebe's story



Sunbeds banned for under 18s

In 2010 Teenage Cancer Trust hosted a photo call outside parliament and lobbied MPs to vote in support of the Sunbed Regulatory Bill.

In 2011 the law preventing under 18’s using sunbeds finally came into effect!


Free sun safety sessions

Teenage Cancer Trust supports secondary schools, colleges, universities, clubs and societies across the UK by offering free cancer awareness sessions, which includes free sun safety presentations courtesy of our Shunburn campaign. For more information or to arrange a visit call 0207 612 0370 or email our education team