Australian Medical Association NSW President Dr Brad Frankum said not applying sunscreen to your child is comparable to child abuse.

“If it happens repeatedly or if a child gets really severe sunburn, that’s bordering on negligence,” Dr Frankum told 7 News.

Under Australia’s extreme UV levels, all it takes is 10 minutes to get burnt..

Dr Frankum also told the Daily Telegraph he didn’t see severe sunburn as “any different” to letting a child tip boiling water on themselves.

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“It’s no different to burning your kid with something else,” Dr Frankum said.

“If it happens repeatedly then that would be quite abusive really.”

Find our sun safe tips HERE!

REMEMBER to apply sunscreen 20 minutes before you go outside and re-apply again every two hours (whether or not the label tells you to do this!). ALWAYS reapply after swimming or excessive sweating.

The average-sized adult needs a teaspoon of sunscreen for their head and neck, each limb and for the front and the back of the body. That is about 35ml of sunscreen for one full body application.

It is also important to spot test sunscreen first.

Just last week a QLD Mum shared a warning over a popular sunscreen following yet another severe reaction – Read that here.

Share your comments below. 

  • I’m sorry but even the most caring parents have had an occasion where their children have got sunburned. It happens.. if it happens repeatedly, then it’s an issue.


  • If you don’t apply sunscreen to kids who will be going outside, it could be seen as neglect. Sometimes it is applied and the kids still burn. My daughter is really fair skinned and she has been burnt after sunscreen being applied


  • Babies and Kids Sunscreen SPF30+ is as good or better than the ones we buy for ourselves. I have had discussions with a few pharmacists about this. (I wanted to be sure they weren’t pushing the agenda on certain brands). The big difference between them we don’t need. The ones not marked for kids contain fragrance + the chemicals they use to make the fragrance stay in it. If you burn more with sunscreen on than without you could be alllergic to that brand as happened to a friend of mine. Also using out of date sunscreen can be dangerous. SPF50+ isn’t much more effective than SPF30+ is. You still need to reapply it at the same time. It doesn’t last any longer and could be more likely to irritate your skin.


  • Think this comment is way over the top. Not everyone can use sunscreen, so does that mean that your children can never go to the beach or outside to have some fun and play. My children never wore sunscreen but they never got burnt either. No sun at all can also cause very bad problems like rickets for example.


  • My kids burn heaps worse with sunscreen. I don’t think these people really think before they publish their findings whenever they need a new grant.


  • I can agree with this somewhat- if it is repeated. The odd occasion getting burnt is pretty normal though because you don’t always know that you are going to end up in a situation where you may get burnt and you’re not always prepared. I can honestly say though that while I have gotten burnt numerous times I don’t think either of my kids ever has.

    • Agree with your comments. I don’t think any responsible parent would intend to let their child out in the sun without sunscreen or shade or a hat


  • Using sunscreen with toxic chemicals can be abuse as well !


  • Maybe this guy has shares in a sunscreen company? I think it is more of a worry about using sunscreen with toxic chemicals, try some natural sunscreen brands without the dangerous chemical that can often burn skin, and keep kids covered. Take an umbrella to the beach too.


  • Um really! I do think that’s a bit over the top. Scare mongering!


  • I think they need to reword what they are saying.


  • It’s not abuse, that’s too harsh a word!


  • abusing is a strong word. I forgot to grab sunscreen when we went to the pool. my kids did get sunburnt but I had to remind them that they had to play in the shade. they had a rushie on and I cut their play short. does that make me an abusive mother? sunscreen now days are shocking, we get reactions to any sunscreen and I still have trouble trying to find a natural as possible without nasties. so far we have one natural one and it really smells and its oiling.
    I try to avoid mid-days sun if we want to go outside to play.


  • irresponsible yes but abuse, I don’t think so, unless of course they lock the kids outside on a high uv day with no sort of protection at all just because, well now that would be abuse


  • I think sun protective clothing and hats are ultimately better than sunscreen.


  • When I was 11 I accidentally poured a kettle full of boiling water over me. There is a huge difference between thag and sunburn. I was in hospital for 2 weeks and had an entire term off school and still have extensive keloid scarring. I’ve been sunburnt plenty of times and never needed anything more than a trip to the chemist. Yes, expect parents to be responsible, no, do not demand parents be perfect.


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