ampires are helping parents protect their kids from the sun this summer by starring on special colour-changing stickers that remind parents to reapply sunscreen. The innovative UV-activated stickers have been released in the UK after research reveals that nearly half of parents (49 per cent) are unsure how often to apply sunscreen to their children and 46 per cent do not apply enough.

Disney Junior UK has called on one of the pre-school channel’s most popular characters, the child vampire from hit showVampirina, to help parents keep their children sun-safe. 10,000 packs of sun stickers featuring Vampirina characters will be given away to parents in selected supermarkets and airports throughout the summer. A series of tips, tricks and hacks designed to help parents have also been created in partnership with the British Association of Dermatologists.

According to the research from Disney Junior, more than two in five parents in Britain (45 per cent) think sunburn is related to temperature with almost a third (29 per cent) saying they rarely put sunscreen on their kids while in the UK. A further 57 per cent do not apply protection when it is cloudy, despite the fact sunburn can occur even on cloudy days. The British Association of Dermatologists advise to regularly check the UV forecast to help prevent this.

Nearly a quarter of parents (24 per cent) say they are confused by the meaning of UV factor on sunscreen, with a third (33 per cent) saying they find it hard to keep their kids still long enough to apply. The study also found that over three quarters (78 per cent) of parents have forgotten to apply sunscreen to certain parts of their child’s body; with armpits (38 per cent) and eye lids (35 per cent) the most common areas missed. This lack of knowledge has led to a third (33 per cent) of children being sunburnt whilst on holiday abroad and 30 per cent being burnt in the UK.

The special edition sun-activated UV stickers have been created and produced by the SunburnAlert company and feature Vampirina and her ghost friend Demi, and the patented colour-changing technology will see the sticker change from white to blue when it’s time to reapply sunscreen. Free packs of stickers will be available in selected airports, motorway service areas, supermarkets and shopping centres across UK including Morrisons Stratford and a Vampirina experiential event at intu Trafford Centre in Manchester on 8th and 9th June. An instructional video can be viewed on Sunburn Alert’s website:

As part of the initiative, Disney Junior has teamed up with the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) to create a series of hacks to help parents to keep their kids ‘sun-safe’. Dr. Sweta Rai from BAD will also be appearing on Disney Junior UK’s latest Parenting Hacks podcast and offering mums, dads and teachers advice on sun safety.

Dr. Sweta Rai from British Association of Dermatologists comments:

“Sun protection can be a tough sell for young children. By educating children about the dangers of sun exposure from a young age and leading by example in sun protecting yourselves, you can teach good habits that can last a lifetime. Using the power of animated TV characters is a good way of getting their attention. We hope these tips will emphasise the importance of being persistent and will offer some practical tips to make life a bit easier.

“To ensure you and your child are fully protected from the sun’s harmful rays we recommend that sunscreen is reapplied every two hours and direct sun exposure is avoided between the hours of 11am and 3pm.”

David Levine from Disney Junior comments:

“With the UK already experiencing hot weather this year, parents will need to start thinking about how to keep their kids safe in the sun. Disney Junior’s Vampirina is a show about a child vampire so the character is perfectly placed to help raise awareness about being safe in the sun in a way that is fun and engaging for kids.”

10 tips for sun safety, by the British Association of Dermatologists

  1. The sun is at its strongest and its UV rays the most intense between 11am and 3pm, so the best way to protect children’s skin is to avoid direct sunlight and seek shade.

  1. Dressing children in loose fitting clothing, a sunhat and sunglasses is one of the best ways to keep their skin safe.
  2. If avoiding direct sun is not possible, it’s important to cover all exposed areas of your child’s skin with sunscreen containing SPF 30 or above which also has a high UVA protection.
  3. With squirmy children who are eager to get out into the sun, it can be easy to miss patches when applying sunscreen. Don’t forget to check easy to miss areas such as the ears, tops of feet and hands.
  4. Applying a second coat of sunscreen about 15 minutes after the first helps cover any patches you may have missed the first time.
  5. Try writing a word as you squeeze the sunscreen onto their skin, maybe one letter on each limb, torso etc.
  6. Ask them to guess what picture you are drawing (a flower or smiley face) as you squeeze it on, and then tell them they can help ‘rub it out’ (i.e. spread it onto the skin)
  7. Do a ‘join the dots’ with the sunscreen, letting them spread the cream from one dot to the next.
  8. Apply it in splodges and let them pretend they are turning into a cheetah, giraffe or other spotty animal.
  9. Kids learn by example, so make sure they see you putting on sunscreen, and say how nice it feels on your skin.

Disney Junior UK’s Parenting Hacks uses the themes, characters and content of its shows to create solutions to everyday parenting problems that mums and dads may encounter with their children.  The Parenting Hacks podcast is available for free from iTunes and Spotify, and children can watch the hit TV show Vampirina on Disney Junior channel week days from 07:30am.