CHILDREN as young as 12 in Glasgow are using sunbeds illegally.

One in 20 of the children aged 12 and 13 surveyed for a study said they had used a sunbed in the past 12 months. The use of sunbeds by under-18s is banned in Scotland by law.

Dr Richard Kyle of Stirling University's School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health, led the study on the sun-related behaviours of about 2200 youngsters aged 12 and 13 around the city.

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He said most of those surveyed were unaware of the link between sun exposure and the risk of cancer — and one in five children who were questioned said they had been suburned more than once. The same proportion didn't usually use sunscreen.

The study, funded by the Teenage Cancer Trust and the Scottish Government Detect Cancer Early Programme, is the first research to look at sun-related behaviours and tanning attitudes in Scots teenagers.

In response to the report, Scottish Health Secretary Alex Neil said: ""It is crucial that people listen and act on the health advice to be safe in the sun."