Stop this suncream madness

Jul 2 • Featured • 946 Views • 8 Comments on Stop this suncream madness

This week two of my mum friends received letters from their children's primary schools informing them that staff are not permitted to apply suncream during the day, and it's up to the parent to make sure their child is protected before they go into school. 'It's outrageous,' said one. 'What am I supposed to do – leave work in the middle of the day to go and reapply her cream?'

Meanwhile, a school in Essex has reportedly banned kids taking in suncream altogether in case they use it on other children who may be allergic. (Why it's not possible to identify children with nut allergies and make sure their friends are aware of it is beyond me.)

I imagine schools are reluctant to allow their staff to apply sunscreen in case they are accused of hurting the child in some way, or else because it will impact on lesson time. But if a child appears to be visibly burning, I can't understand why anyone should be prevented from intervening. In my opinion all schools should keep a supply of suncream in their medical room, and lunchtime supervisors have a duty to make sure kids are protected – particularly small children who may have no awareness that their delicate skin is burning.

*You can see advice on protecting children in the sun here

written by Liz Jarvis


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8 Responses to Stop this suncream madness

  1. sam says:

    I use an all day protection suncream on my two. Just apply in the morning and they’re safe all day at school.

  2. Lucy says:

    A doctor friend told me that they can’t be sure all day protection suncreams protect against melanoma and you’re best off keeping your kids out of the sun in the middle of the day altogether

  3. Nicola says:

    I have to admit that I wouldn’t want to have to apply suncream to 30 children! It is bad enough making my daughter stand still long enough in the morning. They are not allowed to take suncream in but again, I can understand that 30 reception children with a tube of suncream would be a disaster area, allergies or not! Our school seem quite sensible in that they won’t let the children out without a hat, encourage them into the shade and have restricted the time they are actually outside in the sun. That said, I do think the teachers should be extra vigilant and there should be a supply for the teacher/lunch time staff to use if necessary.

  4. Chris says:

    I also wouldn’t want to apply it to 30 children – What a nightmare! I have to assume that schools in warmer climates have sorted this problem a long time ago – does anyone know what they do in Italy? or Australia? or India? or Brazil?

  5. sam says:

    Well I’m no expert, but I also wouldn’t rely soley on an all day protection cream if my kids were at the beach and swimming or playing in the sea for example, but nowadays, schools encourage children to wear hats and won’t allow them to hang around in the midday sun wearing next to nothing. All day protection is a simple answer to a school’s understandable predicament – it’s about taking care, being responsible and I agree that schools cannot be responsible for applying suncream – would you want your child’s teacher applying sun cream to your children? – not me.

  6. Jen says:

    From a teacher’s point of view I feel very strongly that children are well protected from the sun – especially the gorgeous children we spend a lot of our time with each week. Common sense seems to have been put aside in this matter and some schools have gone down a very negative route of banning sunscreen altogether – morally and physically wrong. If children had sunscreen applied in a morning before they come to school then brought some to put on during the day as adviced by teachers. A letter of consent can be filled in by parents if schoools required this (as we have to do for child minders and nurseries) yet many teachers would not even need to help apply it – children are more than capapble of putting it on themselves.

  7. sarah challice says:

    very interesting

  8. Catherine says:

    Health and safety gone mad! Do we have a case for compensation against the school if a child goes on to get skin cancer? Drastic (and hopefully never to happen) action but it may be the only way to make them see sense.


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