"No different to burning your child": Top doctors label sunburn as 'child abuse'

Australia’s top doctors have likened parents who let their children get sunburnt to child abusers.

Australian Medical Association NSW President Dr Brad Frankum said not applying sunscreen to your child can have deadly consequences.

"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.

Doctors are slamming parents for being negligent with sun safety. Source: 7 News

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.

"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."

Cancer Council of Australia’s Heather Walker said the best solution was still to slip, slop, slap.

"UV is a hazard and like any other hazard, it's the parent's responsibility to look after their children and protect them from it."

Optometrists are warning parents to also buy sunglasses for their kids. Source: 7 News

But optometrists are warning about the dangers to children's eyes, which can also be burnt by UV rays.

Sun damage can cause serious conditions like cataracts and even eye cancer later in life, which is why experts want children to wear not only hats, but protective sunglasses when outdoors.

Cancer experts want to break down the perception that a tan is a healthy look and remind people the sun is just as extreme when there's cloud cover.

Ms Walker said children also follow adults’ habits and more people needed to be good role models when in the sun.

AMA Dr Brad Frankum said letting kids burn in the sun is like letting them get scalded. Source: 7 News