My holiday was wrecked after my kids were left severely sunburnt – despite wearing factor 50

A MUM has told how her young sons were left in agony after being sunburnt despite wearing factor 50.

Carlien Pretorius from Newport, Wales, was in Gran Canaria with her boys Joshua, 11, and Luke, nine, last week when she noticed both of them had started to burn.

Carlien Pretorius and her sons Joshua (left) and Luke


Carlien Pretorius and her sons Joshua (left) and LukeCredit: Carlien Pretorius/MEDIA WALES
Damage caused to Joshua’s skin as a result of sunburn in Gran Canaria


Damage caused to Joshua’s skin as a result of sunburn in Gran CanariaCredit: Carlien Pretorius/MEDIA WALES
Luke’s burns which he got even though he had factor 50 on as well as a T-shirt


Luke’s burns which he got even though he had factor 50 on as well as a T-shirtCredit: Carlien Pretorius/MEDIA WALES
They had bought suncream at a local pharmacy


They had bought suncream at a local pharmacyCredit: Carlien Pretorius

Despite applying SPF (sun protection factor) 50 and wearing T-shirts, Carlien said Joshua’s burns became so bad that she decided to take photos and post them on social media.

Carlien said she used sun cream they’d bought from a shop labelled “parafarmacia” on the island.

After the burns became so bad she says she took her sons back to the same shop where they gave her an ointment to put on the skin, spending a total of €110 (£95).

She told WalesOnline: “It made it way worse which then led to us going to the public doctor’s surgery where they gave us wonderful free advice.”

The picture shared by Carlien below shows Joshua’s skin today, almost a week after the initial burn.

She explained: “When the skin is wet you can see how very thin it still is and how far it still has to go for complete healing.

“The boys burnt from just being in the swimming pool despite having full 50+ sunscreen on and T-shirts. The sun cream I bought was from the pharmacy.

“Shocking really. I believe there must be something wrong with it, maybe it’s out of date, or it could be the wrong sun cream for their ages.

“Both of them were in a lot of pain and I had to give them Calpol regularly which I thankfully had brought with me from the UK. Joshua especially was in absolute agony.

“I was really worried, I secretly cried with worry while they were sleeping. I am still worried it will cause permanent scarring.”

Carlien said she blames the shop which sold her the sun cream on the island and herself for “not being able to protect my kids from this horrible thing happening to them”.

She told WalesOnline: “I’m so grateful to the public doctors for the free advice from our EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) cards.

“We will always remember this holiday disaster and probably be reminded of it for the rest of our lives through the possible scarring.”

After spending a large proportion of their holiday flicking through Spanish TV channels in their hotel room, Carlien said she feels she needs to offer advice to others planning on going abroad to a hot climate.

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She added: “It was disastrous really because we had to spend five or six days of our two-week annual holiday in a hot apartment with nothing to do. We couldn’t go swimming or go out because I desperately needed to keep them out of the sun.

“My advice would be; take your sunscreen with you from the UK, take Calpol for the kids and all other meds from the UK, stay out of the sun between 12pm and 4pm, take your EHIC cards when holidaying abroad, and double check all advice – even the small print on products – when in a foreign country.”

Almost a week on Joshua is still suffering the effects


Almost a week on Joshua is still suffering the effectsCredit: Carlien Pretorius/MEDIA WALES

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