Your caring, sharing News of the Worldthis week chose to reveal that David Beckham's son Romeo suffers from epilepsy by splashing with a front-page picture of the four-year-old cowering from the paparazzi's flash guns.

Your caring, sharing News of the Worldthis week chose to reveal that David Beckham's son Romeo suffers from epilepsy by splashing with a front-page picture of the four-year-old cowering from the paparazzi's flash guns.

The headline, 'Flash Could Kill Him!', suggested dire consequences if he was exposed to photgraphers' lenses, but the tabloid decided to print the picture anyway, 'to persuade fans and the world's press to act responsibly'.

The Beckham camp would not confirm the story, but charity Epilepsy Action says the paper's coverage is unlikely to help others with the condition.

For a start, a spokes-woman says, only around 3 to 5 per cent of epilepsy sufferers have seizures triggered by photosensitivity. She also describes as 'unhelpful' the paper's warning that many epileptics have to take medication for the rest of their lives ? given that this controls seizures for 70 per cent of them. The story could have been an ideal opportunity to raise awareness and dispel myths about the condition, but the sensationalist tone obscured the facts.

It is not the first time the News International tabloid stable has been criticised for insensitivity in reporting celebrities' health.

The Sungot in to hot water three years ago when it reported former boxer Frank Bruno's mental illness under the banner headline 'Bonkers Bruno Locked Up'. It back-tracked to 'Sad Bruno in Mental Home' in later editions and contrite editor Rebekah Wade almost fell over herself to make reparations to mental health charities.

But this week, the News of the Worldtook the gloves off for a story that eagerly reported the lurid details of a story involving Mr Bruno, prostitutes, cocaine and Viagra.

The paper's only acknowledgement of Mr Bruno's mental health problems was a single line at the fag end of the piece reminding readers that 'Bruno suffered a mental breakdown in 2003'.