Sunscreen...

(49 Posts)
Pyrrah Thu 25-Apr-13 16:00:01

Is there a rule against teachers applying sunscreen?

Picked DD up today from primary school nursery and she's quite badly burnt on her face and arms - as were a lot of the other children.

Tomorrow I will be sending a bottle in, but am a bit shocked and annoyed that the staff allowed the kids to get so burnt considering the health implications from sunburn - especially at such a young age.

Was not sunny when set off for school hence I hadn't put it on this morning.

AICM Thu 25-Apr-13 18:56:59

It wasn't sunny where I am this morning. I did the responsible thing and checked the forecast and put on 8 hour suncream DD was fine. It seemed like the responsible thing to do.

I've always assumed that I do the parenting and the teachers do the teaching.

daftdame Thu 25-Apr-13 19:06:21

Get your point AICM but not all children are able to wear all brands of sun cream - ie some may not be able to wear 8 hour ones because of allergies.

Sun protection is not just about sun burn either, sunstroke and heat exhaustion can be nasty.

Nurseries and schools do have a duty of care in terms of planning sensible use of the outdoor areas especially if there is no shade available.

intheshed Thu 25-Apr-13 19:11:06

I mentioned this at school today- I was told I can send in a named bottle, and the staff are allowed to squeeze it on for her, but they can't rub it in, she has to do that herself.

So I think I will be applying the all-day cream every day from now on and also putting a small bottle in DD's bookbag.

hazeyjane Thu 25-Apr-13 19:14:22

If your dc react to Soltan Once etc maybe try Utrasun, it is very good on sensitive and eczema prone skin.

GuinevereOfTheRoyalCourt Thu 25-Apr-13 19:46:51

This is ridiculous. Sorry. But I absolutely refuse to put suncream on either myself or my children in the UK unless there is some particular reason why they(or I) are going to be in direct sunshine for a prolonged time. So I'd put it on for an outdoor school trip, but otherwise just suitable clothing and a sunhat should be sufficient.

Sunshine is essential for children's health. Suncream doesn't just stop sunburn, it stops the production of vitamin D too. We get precious little sun in this country as it is for goodness sake.

I would be horrified if my children came back from school sunburnt. There is absolutely no excuse for not providing adequate shade if nursery children are playing outdoors for a long time. If there is no way to provide shade outside then they should be going inside regularly.

I would complain to the school but suncream isn't the solution. We are a very pale family but my children never come home burnt. (And I never got burnt during the normal school day when I was a child either.)

christinarossetti Thu 25-Apr-13 20:26:29

Yes, in addition to using sun cream/sun hat, I would ask what procedures the nursery use during the summer at the hottest times of the day if there is no shade at all available to the nursery children.

Squarepebbles Thu 25-Apr-13 20:57:41

What Guin said.

No way am I applying sunscreen yet.I've been stripping mine off down o shorts and Ts after school this week and shoving them out sans screen to get some sun after school.

Was mighty relieved to see freckles.

I'd be livid if school started applying cream ever(chemical free here),let alone in April.

Squarepebbles Thu 25-Apr-13 21:01:36

I use clothes,hats and a bit of chemical free in July/August mid day if out for a prolonged time.

They've never burnt.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Thu 25-Apr-13 22:24:58

Not all DC's can use the once a day sun creams, and not all are physically able to effectively apply sunscreen in YR/Y1.

I used to have to send DS2 in the middle of summer with a long sleeved t-shirt on to prevent burns. He got heatstroke a few times...

But it was heatstroke or burns.

I think it's ridiculous that 4yo's and 5yo's are expected to be able to effectively cover themselves in sunscreen when half of them can't wipe their own faces after lunch properly!

5madthings Thu 25-Apr-13 22:27:12

I send mine in with roll on/stick type sunscreen, its not perfect but even my reception age child can put it on his nose cheeks and arms.

The teachers will help the, if necessary as long as provide a labelled suncream.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Thu 25-Apr-13 22:31:27

Note - DS2 burns VERY badly. Now he's 9, he is very careful about waiting 10 mins and then applying sun cream diligently and carefully, so I no longer have to do the whole 'long sleeve' thing.

It actually only takes 10 mins in the sun for a body to produce enough Vit D, and any longer than that and he starts to burn.

He can now tell the time and apply his own sun cream. He couldn't in YR/Y1/Y2.

And he is allergic to all except Ambre Solaire Kids Factor 50 - even the adults one gives him hives. Tried every 8 hr one on the market.

Yet DS3 is allergic to Ambre Solaire...confused

Squarepebbles Fri 26-Apr-13 07:29:11

Couthy my dc's have sensitive skin so for the screen they need in school I empty a roll on version I use and refill with the type I use with them.Even from rec they could use a roll on.I've taught them to regard it as a medicine and use only when they can see they'll need it.Good hats cover a lot so it's arms.

I've always been wary of 8 hour creams,some of the chemicals are quite heavy duty.If I lived in Australia I'd have to poke up with it but we don't,far from it.<looks at grey sky>

One of my dc has had a dreadful winter,I'm convinced it's because he didn't get enough sun last summer and they need vit D,fresh air,sun on their bones etc.

Obviously sunbathing at mid day in August in a bikini or playing on a beach utterly unprotected would be silly however going to the other extreme in April makes you see how rickets has come back.

Squarepebbles Fri 26-Apr-13 07:30:14

If I had a red headed child who burned easily I'd be slightly more proactive.

turkeyboots Fri 26-Apr-13 07:53:46

I have red haired v pale children (and was one myself). DS burnt slightly yesterday after a day in the sun with nursery applying factor 50 to him regularly.

I'd be livid about a sunburned 3 year old and would be going to see head if it happened at school.

turkeyboots Fri 26-Apr-13 07:56:43

Oh and freckles are Sun damage. I have to get mine checked over my a dermatologist every few year due to the cancer risk.

And have never lived anywhere "hot" mostly UK and Ireland.

Pyrrah Fri 26-Apr-13 10:47:15

Thank you all!

Have sent in Factor 50 and sunhat and covered DD in the stuff myself.

I get the feeling a number of parents have complained (not me) as the staff were all falling over themselves to talk about sun-protection this morning - despite the fact it was raining!

I'm going to try and find a thin long-sleeved white cardigan as well - the school cardigans are logo'd and thick fleecy stuff so they won't wear them if it's warm.

Before she had uniform I always kept her covered in long sleeves and long dresses when it was hot. She's on prescription vit D supplements anyway - 3k units a day.

Vit D is something there is a real issue with in the UK - the DoH say all children under 5 should be on supplements yet they can actually supply enough. DD's are prescribed by her endocrinologist and everytime I pick up the Dx, they are a different brand - the last lot I had to keep in the fridge and go back every 2 weeks as they were being custom made! You also can't get high dosage OTC.

There is lots of evidence that lack of sufficient Vit D may contribute towards MS (or that lots of Vit D is protective forget which way round) and the Scottish government are very big on giving it to kids - but not so in England.

bellamysbride Fri 26-Apr-13 11:20:55

I am shocked by the relaxed attitude to sunburn. It's really seriously and increases the chances of skin cancer massively. A one off application even just before leaving for school would never protect my DD effectively. I understand that teachers don't have time to apply to 30 kids but seriously how difficult is it to make sure they all have hats and are encouraged to stay in the shade. Our pre school makes parents leave a hat and sunscreen with names on in a box after the easter hols. I would be appalled if my 3yr old was allowed to burn. I am generally very relaxed about all issues preschool.

daftdame Fri 26-Apr-13 11:50:12

I don't think it is a relaxed attitude to sunburn as such - the more pertinent issue is where the responsibility for taking good care in the sun lies whilst a child is at school / nursery.

Parents can provide sun cream / hats / suitable clothing and speak to the school. with regards to any problems.

No body can insist a teacher / teaching assistant does anything which lies outside their working contract. However the school does have a duty of care. (Often in practise I feel this can result in labelling a child as having SN at a very young age if their self care skills are even slightly behind what is expected for their age group - another can of worms!)

In reality I think everyone should do all they can to teach children what they need to do to protect themselves in the sun and also willingly help them where they can.

daftdame Fri 26-Apr-13 14:04:44

I would be interested to hear how boarding schools handle issues such as this as they are responsible for the children there 24/7 and still have to teach.

I take my cue from an Australian parent and friend at the school. When he sends his daughter in with sun cream on then so do I.

bellamysbride Fri 26-Apr-13 20:27:52

Daftdame I don't know any 3yr old (and I've known some bright ones) who would independently think to put on sunscreen. Surely adults in charge of 3yr olds aren't just teachers they are caring for children holistically. I would be mortified if I child in my care got sun burnt.

FannyBazaar Fri 26-Apr-13 21:25:00

It is April - which is not summer! Get them out there to get their vitamin D, 10 minutes in the summer midday sun may be enough for vitamin D but it is still spring at the moment.

I never put sunscreen on my DC unless skiing or at the beach on a hot sunny day. I do encourage dressing sensibly and plenty of time outdoors all year round though.

If you have a child who burns easily make sure they always have a hat and long sleeves. Teach them sun sense.

daftdame Fri 26-Apr-13 21:54:13

Bellamy - I agree. Was sort of my point that everybody needs to help where they can.

SE13Mummy Sun 28-Apr-13 20:11:37

Both my DDs come out in hideous hives if they use any sunscreen other than the Organic Children range which only comes in spf25. They are both good at wearing hats and even DD2 (aged 3) will ask about sunscreen when it's hot. She'll do her best to rub it on herself but needs supervision.

When she started at the school nursery in September the new nursery teacher tried to tell me that teachers weren't allowed to apply sunscreen to children hmm. I am a primary school teacher, and had been at that very same school until September so challenged this. I wrote on the nursery admission/health form that I gave permission for members of staff to help DD apply sunscreen by rubbing it on - and then signed it.

As DD2 attends for mornings only it's less of an issue than it will be when she's in Reception and at school for the whole day. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she will continue to be so independent at asking for sunscreen as she is now.

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