A DOLL that 'tans' in the sun has been criticised for encouraging children to ignore the dangers of sunbathing. The Cabbage Patch Kids 'Splash 'n' Tan' doll contains a dye that reacts to ultraviolet light, causing it to go brown in the sun. But Dr Brian Elvy, a GP and skin specialist in Norwich, argues in General Practitioner that the doll conveys the wrong health message.

Hasbro, the maker, points out that the doll is accompanied by a leaflet containing 'sensible tips' about sun. Recent research published in the British Medical Journal showed that more than a third of children suffered sunburn in the past year.