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