This Really Burns Me Up!

Courtesy of Jesse Michener at lifephotographed.com

Courtesy of Jesse Michener at lifephotographed.com

Two sisters from a Washington state school suffered severe sun burn during their field day festivities due to a ridiculous policy that states sunscreen cannot be applied to children at school; it is considered a “medication”.  Only California allows children to bring sunscreen to school.  The school district forbids teachers from applying sunscreen to children for obvious reasons, but refuses to allow the children to block themselves because sunscreen use requires a physician’s prescription.  What??!!

My two kids recently had field day and I got a notice home saying the exact same thing.  I could apply sunscreen to my children before leaving for school, but any reapplication would not be available for them should their initial block wear off.  So rather than protect the children from obvious dangerous exposure to the sun (one liability), they would rather cover their own assess by doing nothing (an even worse liability).

So tell me, why do we have school nurses?  I understand not wanting teachers to reapply the sunscreen and I absolutely agree with that, but if a child is burning and is in need of medical care, isn’t it the responsibility of the school nurse to intervene at that moment.  Where was this Tacoma WA. school nurse at anyway?  And even if the nurse can’t reapply sunscreen, shouldn’t her judgement come into play here and remove the children from the unsafe environment.

I can’t tell you how many notes I get home during the school year to give my permission for the most ridiculous things, you would think perhaps that on field day schools might make it a policy to have parents sign a permission slip allowing the school nurse to reapply sunscreen in the event that their child was starting to bubble up like a hot tar blister?  Call me crazy but this country is so obsessed with liability that we feel more comfortable with apathy.

Why is it that one state out of fifty has managed to find a solution to this problem, but 49 states still have their thumb up their ass?  I understand children have a lot of allergies, got it, but if the parents are sending in a labeled bottle of sunscreen that they always use on their child, then I’m not sure I see what the big deal is.

Again, doing nothing to protect children in a dangerous situation is more of a crime to me than acting in their best interest.  Field day should be a day for tears of joy and fun and laughter, not a day for tears of pain and trips to the Emergency room.  Thankfully these girls are healing from their burns, but what will their future hold?  According to skincancer.org it only takes one blistering sunburn to more than double their risk of melanoma later in life.

I wonder how many cumulative years of graduate degrees were on that field, yet no one was smart enough to take the children out of the sun?