A NEW campaign has been launched in a bid to cut the number of children who get sunburnt while enjoying the summer holidays.

Fronted by celebrity mum Tina O’Brien, the Boots suncare brand Soltan has launched the campaign after a poll showed that half of all youngsters had been burnt before the age of seven.

Boots commissioned independent research to gain insight into how important staying safe in the sun was to children.

Of the children questioned on the Soltan Kids Panel, some saw tanning as “being cool” and worryingly, spoke candidly about how they “like getting sunburnt.” Although more and more children said they put on their own suncream, research found that youngsters don’t always apply sun protection properly, commonly missing areas around their ears, eyes, mouth and nose and applying sun protection too thinly to their arms.

In response to the research, Boots has teamed up with former Coronation Street star Tina O’Brien, to launch a campaign to educate families about the importance of sun safety in a fun and interactive way. Consumers can enter a competition to win a Teddy Bears’ Picnic for their local community and pick up tips and advice on sun protection.

Tina O’Brien explains: “Since becoming a mum, I’ve become much more aware of the long- term effects sun damage can have from such an early age and the importance of getting children into a routine of applying sun protection and learning about sun safety. “That’s why I’m working with Boots Soltan to launch the nationwide Teddy Bears’ Picnic competition where mums and children can learn about sun protection in a fun and interactive way.”

Mike Brown, Boots suncare senior adviser comments: “It’s concerning that British children are not only getting burnt but being relied upon by parents to look after their own sun protection routine, when their knowledge is so sparse.”

The campaign comes as another study of residents in Southampton found that thousands of holiday-goers from the city get sunburnt every time they go abroad.

More than a quarter of people polled by the Sunsense sunscreen brand admitted they are left with lobster-coloured skin each time they go on holiday, with one in five getting burned at least twice on the same break and seven per cent admitting they were so badly burned on holiday they had to see a doctor.

To enter the competition you should log on to boots.com/soltanpicnic.