Ds has got sun burnt at school

(160 Posts)
RoooneyMara Fri 05-Jul-13 15:56:45

Ds is 10 and was on a kind of sports/open day today at another school.

No one sent a letter about it or anything.

He has come home with sunburn across his face.

Normally I tell him to stay in the shade when it is hot - clearly they weren't able to do this, being outside much of the day.

Hats are pointless when they are doing activities outside - they just fall off.

Suncream doesn't last very long...what can you do?

I feel really upset about it.

I put them a good coating of P20 on ebfore school, seems to last ok, supposed to be for 8 hour.

RoooneyMara Fri 05-Jul-13 15:58:41

Thanks Dita, what is P20?

ShatnersBassoon Fri 05-Jul-13 16:00:05

A sun hat would have helped. If it fell off, it would have been put back on. Get him in the habit of wearing one when it's sunny.

just looked the one I have is soltan, it is called soltan once, it is a lot more expensive than the normal stuff but supposed to last all day, I think there are a few brands of them.

maja00 Fri 05-Jul-13 16:01:15

Suncream does last (especially a long lasting one) and at 10 he can surely reapply at breaktimes? I would get a little tube of it to go in his bag.

We use Ultrasun Factor 50 (once a day) and none of us have ever been burnt in normal UK summer weather. It really does last all day.

lljkk Fri 05-Jul-13 16:03:03

it's not great but it's not a huge deal, either. This isn't the bad old days when people took 2 weeks in the sun with no cream, and equated sunburn with beautiful tan.

Bit of olive oil can help the skin a small bit, even water splashed on will help reduce some of the damage. Anything to cool it down & rehydrate.

RoooneyMara Fri 05-Jul-13 16:06:00

Thankyou very much, will look at getting an 8 hour thing

This is it though, he never normally gets burned at school. They have short break times.

No one told me they would be outdoors all blooming day.

Bloody school. I am a bit oversensitive about this as I lost my friend to skin cancer, I try very hard not to let them burn.

It feels like school doesn't give a toss.

lljkk Fri 05-Jul-13 16:15:26

It's going from pasty white to lobster red in a few hours that creates the highest risk for sun cancer (the classic Brit on holiday way of getting a tan). The sort of dose your son got today is nothing like as bad. Not saying be complacent, but don't let it worry you, either.

ShatnersBassoon Fri 05-Jul-13 16:16:47

You can't blame the school entirely. Most children do have sun hats on days like today, and many apply sun lotion as a matter of routine.

They really should have told you about the event though. Being out of school for an entire day requires some forethought from parents. What did children on school dinners do if they weren't at school for their lunch, for example?

This is a primary school and they took your DC out to an event at another school without your knowledge? That seems a bit odd. Our school takes the children on walks into town etc without specific letters home, but anything more than that has a letter. I hope his face calms down soon and isn't too bad, sorry for the loss of your friend.

OrangeLily Fri 05-Jul-13 16:23:06

I think your right. The school should have warned you that they would be outside. Any chance you've missed a letter?

GetStuffezd Fri 05-Jul-13 17:04:29

Have you signed a universal consent form for all local visits?
Either way, from your threads of late you clearly believe the school are failing your son so is moving him a option?

I think to be on the safe side you need to make sure that he has a hat and suncream every day when the weather is like this.

DS1 is 10 and plays a lot of sport so is often out of school at tournaments a this time of year. He has red hair and a very pale complexion and avoids getting burnt 99% of the time. He knows to reapply his suncream regularly and keep his hat on.

I am surprised though that your DS' school could take them out without a permission slip.

Pyrrah Fri 05-Jul-13 17:20:47

DD got burnt at school back in March on what feels like the one sunny day this Spring - as did all of her fair-skinned classmates.

They had allowed a group of 3 year-olds to play outside with no available shade for an hour at midday.

My SIL was very lucky to survive a stage-4 malignant melanoma and I'm generally fairly obsessive about safety in the sun, but hadn't bargained on the weather given it had only just stopped snowing!

The school sent out a note the next day asking for labelled bottles of sunscreen and hats to be supplied to all children - I believe there had been a number of complaints especially given how little they were.

I would get a bottle of the spray on sunscreen or one of the little travel bottles than fits in your pocket for your son to take to school.

I might also have a word with the school about perhaps doing an assembly on sun protection - the Australians do some great guides that they could use.

RoooneyMara Fri 05-Jul-13 17:25:11

Thankyou all - yes Get, I am fed up with the school in general. I don't know what's happened, they used to be pretty good.

He loves his friends though and it's unthinkable to him to leave now. Only one more year.

According to ds, none of his class had a hat today. Not one of them. They'd have fallen off anyway - they were doing stuff like pillow wrestling on a bar (injuries sustained, ambulance called hmm)

But it transpires that they were only there till lunch. I can't work this out - they had morning assembly, I presume till 10ish, then walked there (another half hour) then did various sports etc, but get this - ds had eaten, BY LUNCHTIME,

1. Dominos pizza

2. a subway

3. Nandos.

Then they walked back and had sausages and chips for lunch!

<no words>

RoooneyMara Fri 05-Jul-13 17:27:01

Pyrrah that sounds awful and I am so sorry about your SIL. I hope she is Ok.

GetStuffezd Fri 05-Jul-13 17:27:13

Eh? I don't get that! How did he eat all those things? Presumably he didn't have cash on him at school?

You sure he had sports day? Maybe he was skiving with mates?

Otherwise, I thought eating competitions were considered a sport in the US only....

ShatnersBassoon Fri 05-Jul-13 17:43:11

I'm confused. Where did all that food come from? Who paid for it?

lljkk Fri 05-Jul-13 17:45:11

every day when the weather is like this.

Don't know about OP but 2 days ago we had all day foggy gloom. Found it hard to predict this sudden sun, and OP didn't know her child would be out hours more than usual (if he was, maybe he grazed on the meadows as part of that eating binge, too).

maja00 Fri 05-Jul-13 17:48:29

Are you sure he's telling you the truth?

RoooneyMara Fri 05-Jul-13 17:49:04

From what I can gather, it was a kind of 'promotional' thing. Not all the kids got all those things to eat, but there were competitions to win them hmm and so on...I think the school is touting for pupils, or seeking to advertise its facilities or something.

(no letter = no idea)

I wish they would let us KNOW they're doing this stuff.

RoooneyMara Fri 05-Jul-13 17:49:49

Yes, no doubt that he is telling the truth. I seem to remember they went to this farce thing last year as well.

maja00 Fri 05-Jul-13 17:51:48

This is the weirdest thing I have ever heard - a state school giving children fast food takeaways as sports day prizes? Are you in the UK?

curlew Fri 05-Jul-13 17:53:09

Are you absolutely sure this isn't him fantasising his perfect day? Because it would certainly be my ds's! Sport and fast food... the only thing that would make it better was back to school to watch Myth Busters on a loop til home time!

ppeatfruit Fri 05-Jul-13 17:56:08

Aloe vera gel is the most effective treatment for sunburn (any sores actually) the school does sound a bithmm.

RoooneyMara Fri 05-Jul-13 17:57:06

Oh God ds loves mythbusters. I think it's a showcase for wrongful facial hair.

Yes definitely in the UK.

School probably didn't think it wise to send a letter, if they had any idea what would happen there.

RoooneyMara Fri 05-Jul-13 17:57:55

thankyou PP

I have some aloe vera I think, somewhere..

RoooneyMara Fri 05-Jul-13 18:01:06

so do I email them or what?

I've not had a reply to the last few emails. I have no idea who to talk to about this.

It really is farcical. If they had sent out a letter saying, your child is invited to a sports event (Ok, javelin, VORTEX throwing hmm(rugby ball shaped thing with feathers in one end) and falling-off-a-bar-onto-a mat type jousting) where they will be plied with fast food from several of the fastest food suppliers in town, before being sent back to school for another unhealthy lunch (another thread) complete with bandaged limbs and sunburn, I don't think many of us would have signed it.

Don't know about OP but 2 days ago we had all day foggy gloom. Found it hard to predict this sudden sun

OK, I'll change the wording - every day that enough sun might come out enough to burn. Which theoretically covers every school day between March and the end of September for my very fair skinned DS. Which is why he always has a hat and suncream (plus a raincoat - we live in Wales) in his bag.

colditz Fri 05-Jul-13 18:03:03

He's ten, unless he has SN he can keep some sunscreen in his pocket and reapply when he goes outside.

rootypig Fri 05-Jul-13 18:08:57

Good grief, that is bonkers. I'd be p-d off about the sunburn. Whether parents know about an event or not, I would expect the school to supervise / enforce basic sun protection - they are in loco parentis. As for the lack of knowledge or permission and the fast food, words fail me. If the school isn't responding, can you write to the local authority? The buck surely has to stop somewhere.

RoooneyMara Fri 05-Jul-13 18:10:58

I have just emailed his teacher.

I did lose the plot slightly. I was rather blunt.

See if she replies to this one eh.

cansu Fri 05-Jul-13 19:48:04

Tbh I think you are over reacting. The problem is that if you over react every time the school falls in any way short you are lessening the chances that the school will do these extra curricular vists and activities that your children love. Yes they should have warned you so your ds could be lathered in sun cream. For me a note or a quick word with the teacher or the office to say could they et ou know in advance because your ds got sun burnt today would have been enough. Emailing teachers and getting het up about it is just ridiculous! if your ds had gone out to play on a sat morning and got sun burnt you wouldn't think you had failed him you just would make a mental note about next time. We are so quick to blame these days it is getting ridiculous. I have lost count of the number of trips I have been on where parents have been asked to provide a coat in case it rains etc etc and the vast majority of children have little more than a cardigan, ditto for sun cream or a hat.

rootypig Fri 05-Jul-13 20:06:33

If your ds had gone out to play on a sat morning and got sunburnt you wouldn't think you failed him

Yes, I would. Skin cancer rates in the UK are higher than in many hotter countries and a lack of sun awareness and culture of sun safety is mostly to blame. The Skin Cancer Foundation says that one blistering sunburn in childhood is enough to double the risk of melanoma.

I grew up in a very hot country and not once in my childhood was sunburned - our teachers wouldn't have dreamed of letting us out in the heat of the day. I'm shocked by people saying that a ten year old should be more responsible for this than his teachers. How do you feel about other health risks while your kids are at school? The OP has said the kids were in the sun most of the day - that is sheer ignorance from the staff. And a lot of responses here sound like they're underestimating risks too.

Not to mention not knowing where the hell your kids are. OP, stick to your guns.

FannyMcNally Fri 05-Jul-13 20:13:40

They weren't out all day, they came back in time for lunch.

Can I just butt in slightly - this weather was rather well forecast! (Unlike the random fast food/sports day that your ds experienced)

rootypig Fri 05-Jul-13 20:19:19

If that was directed at me, OP said "much" of the day, I said "most".

curlew Fri 05-Jul-13 20:24:18

I find it bizarre that they took the children out to this event without getting "trip" forms signed.

ChimeForChange Fri 05-Jul-13 20:26:50

I can kind of agree with Cansu....I think you're over reacting a little.

Also, so baffled about the food!!
Did he win vouchers or something?

I think it's extremely unlikely that in less than 2 hours your son won food from 3 fast food outlets at his sports day event? And the school let him eat this? Where were they cooking/keeping the food?!?! I'm so confused!

lljkk Fri 05-Jul-13 20:33:54

We sign forms once a year to cover all trips, it makes sense to me. Don't have to sign. That said, we'd always be notified in advance, no unannounced trips.

MaybeBentley Fri 05-Jul-13 20:38:50

Who paid for all this food? Surely you don't send your child to school with this amount (any) money each day. The amount consumed X the class would have cost a fortune.

EduCated Fri 05-Jul-13 20:55:48

Sounds like some sort of 'fun day' type event. I've organised them in the past, places like Dominos and Nandos often come and give away free samples (slice of pizza, a couple of chicken wings) as a type of advertising.

RoooneyMara Sat 06-Jul-13 08:41:46


sorry, had to go to do bedtime....

well yes, I am overreacting a bit I think. But this is in the light of a lot of rubbish communication from the school recently. I'm cross. I need to know that someone cares about my child when I'm not there. And I don't think they do.

To add insult to injury, last night he informed me that aside from the fast food and injuries, he was in fact molested by a giant chicken, who chased him and hugged him twice, against his wishes.

Also present was a giant subway.

So yes advertising. I love it when they take my children on an advertising field trip.

I know he enjoyed it. I just think I'd have liked to KNOW iyswim.

Ps Oybbk - it probably was, I had heard it might be sunny (though I don't normally watch TV) but normally he has somewhere shady to play and playtime only lasts a little while. He's not been burned at school before.

Anyway thankyou for all the comments, I think I needed to let off some steam, it wasn't much of an educational trip and I do think therefore we could have been consulted, or warned. But there you go. The school is in general not very good at letting us know things, and I probably need to have a word with them about that.

ppeatfruit Sat 06-Jul-13 11:49:59

RooneyMara I would've have been annoyed too there's all this talk about obesity in school children and the school is pushing junk food at them shock.

SVN Sat 06-Jul-13 12:20:38

I'd be a little bit put out at the overload of fast food, but I think you're as remiss as the school with regard to sunburn. You try supervising 30 children and ensuring they all wear protection, a hat, sit in shade, drink fluids. You only had one child to ensure was wearing suncream on what was forecast to be a hot day. You didn't. I think some perspective is needed.

Although the outing doesn't sound particularly educational, it's parents like you who cause schools to opt out of organising trips etc.

RoooneyMara Sat 06-Jul-13 12:20:44

Well quite PP...I'm not sure what it's meant to achieve. They are regular inspectors of lunchboxes... and yet I fail to see any evidence of healthy food being promoted or fed to them.

No reply to email. What a surprise.

RoooneyMara Sat 06-Jul-13 12:23:45

SVN if you had read my posts you would have noticed that I don't normally send ds with a hat (which when I do, he refuses to wear - they don't insist) or sun cream which isn't much use when applied 4 hours before he goes out to play.

And that he normally plays in the shade at school, for short breaks.

I don't normally need to protect him.

If he is at a different school, being kept outside half the day in the heat then frankly it's not the same set up and I'd have appreciated some advance notice.

They are in loco parentis and as such, well, when they are in my care I limit their sun exposure. The school doesn't seem to think this matters. And they fed them loads of crap.

RoooneyMara Sat 06-Jul-13 12:25:41

'Although the outing doesn't sound particularly educational, it's parents like you who cause schools to opt out of organising trips etc.'

Parents like me in what way? Concerned about sunburn ones? Concerned about junk food being promoted at their children ones?

Wanting a letter about trips ones?

Or ones who email to say, I'm not very happy that you did this, can you send a note next time please?

curlew Sat 06-Jul-13 12:30:37

I think you need more information. It all sounds very odd.

SVN Sat 06-Jul-13 12:34:42

I read your posts and I still think the same.

If you are that concerned that your child is protected in the sun, then take the necessary steps yourself. Yes teachers are in loco parentis, but they're not child minders and basic sun protection should be up to the parents. I think you have unreasonable expectations. Perhaps you should withdraw your consent for any further outings.

spanieleyes Sat 06-Jul-13 12:37:56

You emailed after six last night but haven't had a reply yet?
Goodness, anyone would think it was the weekend!

KingRollo Sat 06-Jul-13 12:43:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

indyandlara Sat 06-Jul-13 12:44:22

You are seriously bumping your gums over the fact that you emailed after 6pm on a Friday night and haven't had a reply by Saturday at lunchtime? Some perspective needed here I think.

MaybeBentley Sat 06-Jul-13 12:44:48

"No reply to email. What a surprise" - just re-read and seen this. shock
Can you honestly say you expect teachers to respond to work emails over the weekend, or were you just venting your anger at teachers?

Hulababy Sat 06-Jul-13 12:48:57

Once a day suncream. I use P20 and/or Ultrasun. DD applies it in a morning and it lasts a good 10 hours.

We have used both in very hot humid weather, such as Florida in August, and never had any issues. Also two of the very few sun creams 11y DD can wear without getting a skin reaction to it.

DD did get a little red on her cheeks the other day where she had missed her face out, but I see that as my fault, not schools. I knew the forecast was hot and forgot to check.

DumSpiroSpero Sat 06-Jul-13 12:50:28

I don't normally send ds with a hat (which when I do, he refuses to wear - they don't insist) or sun cream

I'm sorry but if you are so concerned about sunburn you really should be doing both these things, although I'll admit to being very surprised the school don't insist on them anyway, or send notes home to inform you when your child is being taken out of school for the day.

As for expecting a reply to an email sent after 6pm on a Friday night...shock

Have you actually been into the school and raised with someone senior in person the numerous issues you are having? If not, then I really think you need to consider this, or you risk coming across as an exceptionally high maintenance parent who nitpicks over every thing and will not be taken seriously.

I'm not suggesting that your concerns are minor btw (haven't read your other threads) but that it might be time to reconsider how you are addressing them.

Hulababy Sat 06-Jul-13 12:54:01

The whole trip sounds very odd. I would try and clarify what was involved, out of curiousity if nothing else.

However, re the email. You sent it last night after school had finished. It is now the weekend. The teacher may not access his/her email out of school. Many people don't. It is unreasonable to accept a respond until next week imo, once school has resumed again and he/she has had time to check email and find time to reply.

SoupDragon Sat 06-Jul-13 12:54:17

Or ones who email to say, I'm not very happy that you did this, can you send a note next time please?

Doesn't quite match up with

I have just emailed his teacher. I did lose the plot slightly. I was rather blunt.


SoupDragon Sat 06-Jul-13 12:54:44

But yes, Once a day sun cream is great for school. We use the Boots Once stuff.

Hulababy Sat 06-Jul-13 12:59:57

I'm sorry, but imo, it i the parent's responsibility to check the forecast and to make sure their child has suncream and a hat.

DD was on a school trip yesterday. I had no idea where they were going - it is a whole school mystery trip. We find out after they have left.

However, I checked the forecast. I made sure DD applied once a day sun cream and took a cap as the forecast said it was going to be hot and sunny. I sent an extra bottle of water too. As a parent that is my job. It isn't the teacher's job to check these things, esp when they have multiple other children to supervise also.

Even in reception I felt it was my role to do this, though knew most reception/infant teachers ime do infact remind children re hats and sun cream. She is now in Y6 and she takes most of the responsibility for these these days, with me just reminding her if I know it is going to be hot.

spanieleyes Sat 06-Jul-13 13:15:31

Presumably if it was an open day, it was for a local secondary school, in which case the fast food was down to that school, rather than your child's primary. Perhaps you should forward your complaint to the Head there too.

P20, I used it in Florida (very pale skin) in mid June and only had to apply it once a day, I didn't change colour or burn at all.

SoupDragon Sat 06-Jul-13 13:23:16

DD was on a school trip yesterday. I had no idea where they were going

Yes, but you knew they were going.

Hulababy Sat 06-Jul-13 13:50:12

I don't always though. Any local trips we dot get letters. They go out of school at least 2-3 times a week - various sports stuff, random rounders matches, walks to local shops, went to local boys school last week (no idea they were going or what for til I got to school to collect her and they were running 5 min late so not back yet). I don't need a letter for every local trip. We sign a generic one instead. Lunches generally not an issue as if out in day for a local trip kitchen provides a packed lunch.

And I get dd to apply sun cream on any warm sunny day as I know they like to get them outside as much as possible all year round.

MaybeBentley Sat 06-Jul-13 13:59:45

Even if I picked up a work email at the weekend / just before I left on a Friday I would probably leave the response to Monday, either to not spoil my weekend or speak to my boss about it if it was like this: "I did lose the plot slightly. I was rather blunt".

katydid02 Sat 06-Jul-13 14:26:21

Our local school has consent for visits in the vicinity of the school, they still send a note specifically to inform us of it unless they are going to the church next door - in which case it just gets a mention in the newsletter.
We use all day suncream and that seems to do the job.

RoooneyMara Sat 06-Jul-13 14:31:18

Yes, of course she probably wouldn't have answered yet. She probably hasn't even seen it yet. But last time she DID answer an email I received it at 5.30pm, so assume this sort of time (evening) is when she writes her emails.

I'm not getting worked up about that (just everything else). I don't expect there will be a reply next week either though. I am getting used to no replies.

I am generally just cross and venting, and I apologise for that. It's a pointless thread really. But I am glad other people think the junk food and lack of communication are possibly not such good things.

Thanks for your replies. I will now go and do other things that don't involve getting cross.

Oh yes and as for being blunt and losing the plot a bit, what I wrote was pretty much, I don't intend to sign the generic consent form next year, because I don't like my children being taken to junk-food-filled promotional events where they get injured.

So yes a bit stronger than 'please could you send a note'/

Is it the parents who lose the plot finally after 6 years who cause schools not to take children on trips? Ok. Hands up to that. smile

Yup, definitely the parents' responsibility to put all-day suncream on a child before school. I'm shocked that there are people who don't know that this stuff exists! Having said that, this is a real bugbear of mine because the once-a-day suncreams aren't always quite as simple as that and I wish that schools were more aware of this. The once-a-days provide up to that length of time, it's far from a guarantee that they will actually last that long. The P20 doesn't have a high enough SPF and the UVA star rating is poor. Which really only leaves the 6-hour creams - well that's not long enough for a school day including travelling time. Schools need to not only provide, but insist on, shade at lunchtimes on very hot, sunny days. Our school has no shade whatsoever for the juniors at playtime and I've complained and complained to no avail.

Hulababy Sat 06-Jul-13 15:54:20

P20 comes in a range of SPF protections, not just factor 20 iirr. They do up to 50+

Oops, so it does! Still doesn't have a very good star rating though.

SoupDragon Sat 06-Jul-13 16:59:56

They go out of school at least 2-3 times a week

So you do know they are going out, or at least likely to. Most schools don't go on so many trips. Ours has a generic consent form to cover local trips which we fill in once but they still tell us they are going. I would be angry if they took them out and sat them in the sun all day with no warning.

rabbitstew Sat 06-Jul-13 17:00:11

Humph. Suncream rant coming up...

Suncream may be far better for you than strong sunlight and sunburn, but it is not actually in any way GOOD for you. No way would I be willing to plaster my child in all those potent chemicals every single day (thus inhibiting his opportunity to make any vitamin D, a lack of which is probably a bigger issue for more people in this country than skin cancer) just in case. I would want to know he needed the stuff on his skin, first. I do not think it is in any way unreasonable to expect a school to tell a parent if their child is going to be doing something outside the usual routine, so that the parent can prepare the child for that when actually necessary. Also, suncream is expensive and lots of children are allergic to lots of suncreams, making it even more expensive as you work your way through them to find one that doesn't make them itch all over. Do schools really think all parents can plaster their children in suncream every day when 98 days out of 100 their child isn't actually outside enough to justify anything more than wearing a hat?? The school should have alerted the parents and was badly at fault for failing to do that.

And as for primary school children being capable of putting on suncream all by themselves - that must be coming from parents who have well co-ordinated, highly responsible children (who do not have many allergies) and who understand nothing about the fact that a child can really be quite poorly co-ordinated without benefitting from a diagnosis or an IEP for their difficulties. Plenty of adults are so bad at putting suncream on themselves that they still manage to burn their cheeks or heads near the hairline, or the backs of their necks, or their shoulders, or the backs of their legs.... and I don't know a child who manages to put suncream on themselves without getting it all over their clothes, too, and that's before the potential mess they can make if they don't put the lid back on properly and get suncream all over their schoolwork... In my experience, suncream does not wash off easily.

And above and beyond all that, what about sunglasses? Do none of you care that you can get melanoma in the eyes, and cataracts? Or do your highly responsible children take sunglasses to school every day and wear them, without them getting broken? This country is not at all well set up for protecting our children from the sun, or thinking about when it is actually safe to be in the sun in the first place.

ppeatfruit Sat 06-Jul-13 17:49:18

`I totally agree Rabbitstew I was just on another thread about hating the heat and saying how few people even think about how dangerous the midday sun is.

Hulababy Sat 06-Jul-13 17:50:14

Did you find a star rating for it? I've never been able too. Dd prefers ultra sun but I have to say I do like p20 for me

RoooneyMara Sat 06-Jul-13 18:02:32

I just spoke to someone with a child in y1, and she too is upset that they were not sent a letter - even the usual type saying 'this trip is covered by the consent form, bla bla' - so it appears most of the school attended it but no one thought to inform the parents.

I don't think that is right somehow.

BeQuicksieorBeDead Sat 06-Jul-13 18:04:06

Teachers aren't legally in loco parentis by the way, not for ages now. that is why we are supposed to inform you of trips, seek permission before administering so much as a plaster and are not allowed to give them a smack. grin

RoooneyMara Sat 06-Jul-13 18:05:56

Ah grin

Hula, I read on a few websites that it has a 3 star rating for UVA. But as it doesn't clarify that on the bottle, that's not good enough for me and makes me wary of it. Is it a foreign brand, maybe? I think it's only the UK that uses the star rating though I may have made that up smile

Rabbitstew, I completely agree about it primary school children not always being up to the job of putting suncream on properly. Loads of adults don't do it properly, let alone kids! Also agree on smothering them with chemicals and this does worry me but I think that skin cancer is a FAR bigger risk than a Vitamin D deficiency. It's a bit of a myth that you need a lot of sun exposure - 10 mins a day is plenty for most people. And you don't need to expose much skin to make Vit D either...

rabbitstew Sat 06-Jul-13 19:40:45

No, you don't need to expose much skin to make vit D, but you do need some skin exposed without factor 50 suncream or whatever on it, which you won't get if you put it on 1st thing in the morning and it works all day!!!!.... It is, after all, 10 minutes exposure of BARE skin, not skin smothered in suncream or covered up in clothes, and 10 minutes in winter isn't going to enable your body to make much, if any, vitamin D. Most people in this country are deficient in vitamin D in the winter, so if you cover up all summer, you'll just be deficient all the time... Basically, you have to bear in mind that in this country the sun just isn't strong enough throughout the year, particularly for dark skinned people, to make good quantities of vitamin D, so you have to make up for the lack of sunlight all Autumn and Winter in the summer. Also, vitamin D deficiency is actually an issue in this country and a growing one, because so few people are aware it is an issue, and doctors aren't even brilliantly clued up about it, because people got so smug about "curing" the problem when they got rid of the smogs caused by factories and household chimneys and then everyone got obsessed with skin cancer and forgot that there are other things you can suffer from if you go to the other extreme and spend a life hiding from the sun.

rabbitstew Sat 06-Jul-13 19:50:04

It would be ironic if you spent a life protecting your skin from the sun with suncream, only to find that you had increased your chances of other cancers, TB, generalised infections, heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, osteomalacia, osteoporosis, general fatigue, muscle and bone pain, and all the other things that have been linked with vitamin D deficiency.

curlew Sat 06-Jul-13 20:02:43

"thus inhibiting his opportunity to make any vitamin D, a lack of which is probably a bigger issue for more people in this country than skin cancer)"

Wow. I'd like to see some evidence for that statement, please.

rabbitstew Sat 06-Jul-13 20:13:15

Plenty of evidence if you look on NHS websites, amongst others. More people are vitamin D deficient in the UK than will ever get a malignant melanoma.

curlew Sat 06-Jul-13 20:15:14

"More people are vitamin D deficient in the UK than will ever get a malignant melanoma."

So how many people suffer severe consequences of vitamin D deficiency?

rabbitstew Sat 06-Jul-13 20:16:58

I would not, therefore, as a matter of principle, put suncream on my children every day. I would most definitely avoid them ever getting sunburnt, but would strongly favour wearing legionnaire sunhats, dressing sensibly, avoiding the sun when it is at its strongest, over putting all-day suncream on them every day just in case their school gets the idea into its head that it will keep them outside in the blazing hot sun all day without warning.

rabbitstew Sat 06-Jul-13 20:19:15

curlew - given that vitamin D deficiency is linked to things like osteoporosis, I would say an awful lot. Osteoporosis is hugely expensive to the NHS and an awful lot of people, particularly women, get it. If you have low levels of vitamin D, you don't absorb calcium well, even if you do have it in your diet.

rabbitstew Sat 06-Jul-13 20:33:52

They wouldn't be advising all pregnant and breastfeeding women, children under 5, all people over 65, people who spend a lot of time indoors and very dark skinned people to be taking vitamin D supplements if it weren't a widespread issue.

Nor would the British Association of Dermatologists, Cancer Research UK, Diabetes UK, the Multiple Sclerosis Society, the National Heart Forum, the National Osteoporosis Society and the Primary Care Dermatology Society be advising people that a few minutes in the middle of the day of bare skin in the sunshine in the summer is quite a good idea, if it was thought a bad idea... (see www.nhs.uk/news/2010/12December/Pages/sunlight-exposure-and-vitamin-d-advice.aspx)

RoooneyMara Sat 06-Jul-13 20:56:55

Do you know what, if nothing else this thread has made me wonder about the vitamin D/cancer thing again.

There was some thinking a couple of years ago that a low level of vitamin D could be implicated in how people respond to cancer, or the risk of getting cancer - I can't remember much about it now.

So it isn't a question, perhaps, of seeing them as separate issues but as something that presents a bit of a difficult balance to get right.

swibbleflop Sat 06-Jul-13 21:11:10

Ironically some schools' casual attitude to sunburn may actually be contributing to more vitamin D deficiency.

Because some schools don't enforce sunhats past reception age, and young kids are unreliable when it comes to suncream, parents are driven to put all day sun cream on any day where it looks like it could be scorching over lunch.

They might not want to, but they end up feeling that's the only certain way to avoid sunburn (which rabbitstew you say you yourself avoid for your kids).

Likewise the main thing I'd like to avoid for my kids is sunburn, rather than sun exposure in general, and would be happy to skip the all day sun cream if I knew there was going to be any kind of strong line from the school insisting kids wear hats.

As it is, I know that even on a scorching day in July it will be left up to my pale freckly seven year old to remember or choose to wear their hat and that's not something I want to rely on! So there are days I put the all day sun cream on, knowing it's the only defence against the midday sun they might have.

Outside of school it's much easier to be flexible and allow a certain amount of exposure before using a cream, use hats as the first line of defence, that sort of thing.

I think schools think that enforcing hats is only needed in countries like Australia but I think it would be great if they did it here on some days ("no legionnaire hat, no playing out") as it would mean no need for sun cream at school, most of the time.

rabbitstew Sat 06-Jul-13 21:15:02

I agree, swibbleflop.

Pyrrah Sat 06-Jul-13 22:06:03

DD is on 5,000ui of Vit D a day - prescription from endocrinologist and will be on it for the rest of her childhood. Due to the MS links the Scottish government is very hot on children having supplements. The English government is hopeless despite DoH guidelines.

It's often hard to fill DD's prescription - constant shortages - rarely get same brand in a row and sometimes have to pick it up every 10 days when it's made to order and has to be kept in the fridge. Appalling that they can't get themselves organised and give it to all kids.

I wish schools would think about having shaded areas in playgrounds - perhaps Ofsted could add it to their list...

With the proven correlation between sunburn in childhood and melanoma it should be mandatory - as should assemblies on sun safety and as in Australia there should be a no hat = no outside play rule in hot weather. My sister's children are at school there and the school hats are quite something.

RoooneyMara - my SIL was VERY lucky. She was given a 30% chance of surviving 5 years. The melanoma appeared very, very quickly - my BIL spotted a mole on her shoulder and 2 weeks later it had doubled. She had a wide excision and a year of chemo. She now has 6 monthly scans. She was 30 when it was found and has now survived 7 years - she had to wait 5 years before she could try to get pregnant as pregnancy hormones can provoke a reccurence. Was very frightening for them.

DalekInAFestiveJumper Sat 06-Jul-13 22:11:59

Wait, wait ... molested by a giant chicken?

RoooneyMara Sun 07-Jul-13 09:20:54

You couldn't make it up, Dalek grin

Pyrrah - that is indeed very very lucky. I'm so pleased that she has made it this far, and long may it continue!

RoooneyMara Wed 10-Jul-13 07:25:50

Still no reply. Just in case anyone was wondering! you weren't, I know grin

MrsMelons Wed 10-Jul-13 07:55:43

A few of my friends have been complaining that their DCs have got burnt at school or haven't put suncream on at school during the day. The school request us to send cream in and help the children apply (infants) but apparently haven't been doing this.

TBH I also use the 8 hour stuff and it is brilliant, as long as you apply as per the directions it lasts all day and is also waterproof for a short time (you can get the waterplay stuff that lasts 6 hours with 3 hours of that in the water). I have 1 quite fair DS and he has never burnt even abroad, I use the factor 30. I wouold rather do this than have to worry about school doing it. Its more expensive but a bottle will last ages as you only use it once a day!

I don't really understand the vit D issue, surely as long as they are not covered in complete sunblock with hats all the time and are out in the sun this isn't an issue I would assume? Admittedly I don't know all the facts but am curious. Both DCs have factor 30 but are quite tanned this year.

MrsMelons Wed 10-Jul-13 08:08:10

BTW I use Soltan by Boots. You can get lower factors as well, DH and I use a F25 and 15. I have dark skin but still use a F15 at the least.

Both my DCs infant schools spend a lot of time outside every day it is not raining in outdoor classrooms (which I think is brilliant).

DowntonTrout Wed 10-Jul-13 08:15:03

Just wanted to say that at DDs school they had a legionnaire hat as part of the uniform. It had to be in school from Easter to October, while in summer uniform, and the children were not allowed outside without it on sunny days.

It was worn on all school trips, sports days, playtime, lunchtime etc. they didn't fall off and it was non negotiable. Whether you did sun cream as well, was up to parents, though you were encouraged to put it on in the morning and could send some in with your child (up to the DC to apply it). This is something you could suggest to school. Everyone wearing the same hat = no arguments.

Primrose123 Wed 10-Jul-13 08:24:06

I would be cross with this too OP. I think the school have handled it badly. I wouldn't worry so much about the junk food or giant chicken grin but the lack of information and the disregard for the effects of the hot weather would annoy me.

I am very pale skinned and freckly and so is one of my DDs. I've used an all day cream once, and I burned. Although I like the feel of sun on my skin for a short time, I don't sit out in the sun for long, and tend to sit in the shade. I also avoid the sunshine between 11 and 3 on a very hot day, and have taught my DDs this when on holiday.

Sports days in primary school were difficult. I put cream on them, and they wore hats, but we suffer in the heat, and after a day of being outside in the hot sun they would both feel very ill. I agree with one of the posters above that it is very important to provide shaded areas in school playgrounds, so that children can enjoy the sunshine but can find shelter when it gets too hot.

Pyrrah Wed 10-Jul-13 10:05:05

MrsMelons - Vit D is a massive issue in the UK, especially considering the crap summers we have had the last few years.

DD has her levels tested on and off by her endocrinologist. The first time it came back as insufficient, she had spent 2 weeks running around on the beach a few weeks previously. The endo said that probably the majority of children in the UK would have insufficient Vit D. Although you only need 13 minutes a day of sunshine between 10am and 3 pm on bare skin for your body to produce enough, that isn't just on the 10 days a year that it's warm enough to take a jumper off in the UK, but 13 minutes every day.

If you can get your GP to prescribe supplements then I would. All children are supposed to take them until the age of 5 at least (recommended by NICE and the Royal College of Paediatricans), but because of shortages - and doctors just not thinking or knowing about it - they rarely are prescribed. My GP mentioned that until he'd done the prescription for DD he hadn't actually been aware of the guidelines and recommendations. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should also take supplements.

Low Vit D can cause muscle weakness, fatigue and also lower the immune system due to immune cell damage (especially resistance to diseases like TB).

Multiple Sclerosis is one of the things they believe may well be linked to Vit D levels - it's almost never seen in countries at lower latitudes. Edinburgh on the other hand is the MS capital of the world (my mother has MS - and grew up in Edinburgh).

So, it's not just the risk of things like rickets, there are other more subtle reasons to supplement.

For me it makes sense - DD is very fair skinned and like me tends to turn red and doesn't tan. I would prefer to protect her skin with sunscreen and a UV suit and give her supplements (it's in liquid form and only 1ml a day so easy to get into them) than risk sunburn and a higher melanoma risk.

MrsMelons Wed 10-Jul-13 11:47:47

Thanks Pyrrah - that is really interesting to know.

I must say I usually put cream on them at 730ish so that would take them to 330 then I normally leave them if they are playing in the garden for half hour at home so they should be getting some sun.

I agree though that I would prefer to give them supplements than risk sunburn.

bruffin Wed 10-Jul-13 12:06:52

Agree with Pyrrah

There also seems to be a connection with diabetes. especially with darker skin people living in northern climates. My dad was from Cyprus and had diabetes and psoriasis. His psoriasis cleared up the only time he went back to Cyprus. Again psoriasis is another immune problem.

Hulababy Wed 10-Jul-13 17:53:35

UVA star rating for P20 (factor 20), according to my new bottle is 3 stars, which is listed as good.

clam Wed 10-Jul-13 18:41:05

I can spot from a mile off all the children in my class whose parents are concerned with sun safety - their faces gleam slightly each morning with the sheen of suncream and there's a summer holiday aroma in the air. Those same children will be the ones wearing caps at lunch-time. The others? I have to assume their parents aren't so concerned.

OP, which parent are you? Sufficiently concerned to ensure your child is lathered-up in the mornings and knows to put a cap on? or one who wants the teachers to add the responsibility to their workload?

rabbitstew Wed 10-Jul-13 19:30:10

Ah, yes, of course, it's always the parents' fault when schools burn their children. grin There's nothing at all unreasonable in expecting a parent to spend a lot of money on all day suncreams which make their child itch and come out in a rash and which 99 days out of 100 are not actually required for the normal activities of the school day. It is obviously too much effort for the school to inform parents of when the 1 day out of 100 is coming up.

Just wait until the increase in cataracts results in advice for all schoolchildren to wear sunglasses outside... children will have to turn up at school with them glued to their faces. grin

MaybeBentley Wed 10-Jul-13 20:31:36

You don't like schools and teachers do you rabbit?

rabbitstew Wed 10-Jul-13 20:42:31

I like teachers and schools perfectly well, I just react to people who may or may not be teachers complaining about parents' attitudes, as though there is nothing wrong with their own.

MaybeBentley Wed 10-Jul-13 20:47:38

Sorry, it just seems to me from reading a couple of threads you are busy on that you make automatic judgements against school and seem to think schools are out to "get" parents. I may be reading you wrong, but that is just the way you are coming across to me.

rabbitstew Wed 10-Jul-13 21:05:35

I'm active on a couple of threads where I have felt automatic judgments have been made against parents, MaybeBentley, where I feel more measured comments should have been made. In my view, parents are inclined to get over emotional about their children and if you don't want to exacerbate that and antagonise them further, then you respect that is the case and do not act pettily in return by making snide comments about their parenting skills, particularly if you are acting in a professional role, not a personal one, and therefore ought to know better and ought to be able to control your comments better.

rabbitstew Wed 10-Jul-13 21:13:22

And in this case, suncream is a bugbear of mine. I hate the stuff and really do not think it is remotely reasonable to imply that I am only a concerned parent if my children have all day suncream on. I will therefore hit back at any teacher or other parent who attempts to imply that all concerned parents plaster their children in all-day suncream (particularly if they don't add that they also dose them up with vitamin D, because then I would think they are insufficiently concerned grin).

clam Wed 10-Jul-13 21:42:57

If any of those rants were aimed at me, rabbitstew then I will point out that my post was merely an observation. I can spot children who are wearing suncream. It is visible and you can smell it. It is fair to assume that those parents are concerned that their children don't burn - maybe they're fair-skinned/freckled/redheads/whatever. Other children do not appear to wear it. They will be outdoors at lunchtime just as long. Presumably their parents don't think it's necessary - maybe they're olive-skinned/don't burn/whatever.
I was making no value judgement. Parents who feel it's an issue administer suncream. Parents who don't are less likely to.

And grin at the idea of "schools burning children."

rabbitstew Wed 10-Jul-13 22:53:16

clam - I'm sorry if you really didn't intend it that way, but what you posted came across as a value judgment, not an observation. OP clearly stated that her child did not normally get burnt at school, it was purely on this occasion because the school had taken the children on an activity which involved them being outside for a considerable time in a place without shade, doing sports without sunhats (I know my children have not been allowed by their school to wear sunhats when doing some sports, because they can't see so clearly with them on and the school gets fed up with hats getting blown off heads...), and, more importantly, without parents being forewarned. OP would have liked some warning so that, on that occasion, she could ensure her child did have suncream on for it and she asked for advice on how she could deal with the fact suncream normally wears off after four hours. At no point did she suggest the school should put suncream on her child, so far as I can see. You, however, appeared to imply that she was being all prima donnerish and expecting the school to apply suncream for her - that was certainly the impression I got from your crossings out. Or did you really mean to imply that it is too much effort for a school to send out a simple letter telling parents about such an event and asking them to ensure that their children bring in sunhats and/or suncream as it is an event which involves being outdoors for a large part of the day without shade? Because I strongly disagree with you if you think that is too much to ask.

I also think if you did not intend to make a value judgment that use of the word "concerned" rather than "parent of a fair skinned child" was very unfortunate.

clam Wed 10-Jul-13 23:05:23

It pisses me off that everyone is always so quick to blame schools for everything these days. If you want your child to be fully protected from the sun, send them in prepared, regardless of what they may or may not be doing once there. Schools have got enough admin to do these days without sending out hundreds of common sense reminders, which many parents ignore anyway. "It's cold, bring a coat," "it's hot, put on suncream." How much of a nanny state do we want?
If I'm worried/concerned (or whatever word you want to use) about my child getting sunburnt, I take appropriate precautions. I wouldn't be looking to the school to parent my child for me and blaming them if it didn't happen.

rootypig Wed 10-Jul-13 23:13:04

Yeah clam, helping kids cross the road, letting their parents know where they are, protecting them from burning their skin ffs, the demands on teachers these days are eeeeeeeendless.

clam Wed 10-Jul-13 23:17:10

"helping kids cross the road" Wtf? Coz most teachers will just shove 'em under the nearest lorry.

rootypig Wed 10-Jul-13 23:53:36

My point is, all those things are a question of safety.

rabbitstew Thu 11-Jul-13 07:43:44

clam - don't be pathetic. Sending out a letter that should be on the school system anyway, because this event took place last year, is NOT too much to ask. It's called communication, something which many schools are very poor at, presumably because they employ people like you. Parents do not ask to be sent letters every time it's sunny, or when it's going to rain, they ask to be sent letters when the school is taking their children out for hours on some weird jolly involving junk food and leaving the children out in the blazing hot sun, which is not, I hope, a normal school day, but something a "concerned" parent would reasonably expect to be made aware of in advance.

Roooneymara Thu 11-Jul-13 10:01:55

Ooh blimey.

I read Clam's post last night and sat there looking at it with a head tilt, wondering how to begin, and finally went to bed, but Rabbitstew has stepped up, so thankyou smile

You are right Rabbit. I am concerned, probably too concerned at times, about their welfare and we HAVE sun cream and I used it on Monday, when it was the proper actual sports day and that was because they told us it was happening. And he didn't get burned on Monday.

I don't expect them to parent my children. I expect reasonable notice for events where precautions are necessary, so that I, as the parent, can take them.

Mind you I was impressed this morning, child sat by office as I dropped off ds's hat which he had left at home (not a sun hat - a decorative one for a procession) and the secretary was asking her, 'what TIME yesterday were you sick?' as she handed her a bowl with a resigned look on her face.

I just know that she will give that child's parents hell on the phone smile

Hulababy Thu 11-Jul-13 21:42:57

The OP's son is 10y. That is old enough to deal with sun hats and suncream himself.

All day suncream is only dearer initially ime. The bottles last longer so make them no different in price really in the end - my experience anyway.

It is a parent's responsibility to make sure that they provide their children with the things they need for a day at school. So as a parent you check the forecast. If it says sunny - send hat, sun glassed and cream. If it says rain - send waterproofs and wellies, and a change of shoes for indoor. If it says now - send gloves, coats and hats.

You may be surprised at quite how many parent do not do these simple things.

Hulababy Thu 11-Jul-13 21:46:14

Oh - and always assume your child may be outside a lot, especially on nice days. It is far better generally for children to be outside and getting some fresh air, rather than being in the classroom.

RoooneyMara Fri 12-Jul-13 07:41:45

Hula, if I let him apply it himself it would be finished within about 3 days. He is Not That Good at things like this...and if I sent it to school WITH him, which I don't think we're allowed to do anyway, it would also be all over his bag, work and classroom (and uniform) within hours.

Some kids can do this stuff, mine can't. But anyway...storm in a teacup really, they still haven't answered, and I'm sure that they won't.

rabbitstew Fri 12-Jul-13 07:51:14

B*ll*cks, Hulababy. I'm fed up with people saying 10 year olds are old enough to be utterly responsible and competent. Yours may be. Don't go commenting about the whole bl**dy contingent and their parents. Or are you a developmental paediatrician?

rabbitstew Fri 12-Jul-13 07:52:39

Schools, however, are packed full of adults capable of writing a simple letter.

RoooneyMara Fri 12-Jul-13 09:36:48

Well quite, Rabbit smile

Thanks again for standing up for me, and for the point I was trying to make. I appreciate it and it makes me feel less mad/overreacting parent.

They are getting worse and worse at communicating. They cancelled an after school club yesterday, AGAIN without giving parents any warning at all, resulting in several stranded children I think...luckily I had turned up at the usual time anyway so just took mine home.

It's hopeless, really it is.

WorriedMouse Fri 12-Jul-13 16:24:34

I'm a teacher and I frequently tell my class of year 6s to stay in shade, bring sun cream, hat, water. There is only so much I can do as a teacher. I can't physically apply the cream. I can't lend children my sun cream (in case of allergies). I can't make them wear a hat or stay in the shade. I do try though and I would be upset to be blamed for a child getting burnt. No comment on the weird trip though!

RoooneyMara Fri 12-Jul-13 16:42:06

I would not blame you, WorriedMouse. I'd be upset though if there was a visit planned where my child would be outdoors much more than usual, and I wasn't told in advance.

I have had an email at last.

She has apologised that he got burned. Well, she is sorry that it happened so not an apology as such but I didn't want one - I just wanted to be warned they were going.

She has passed on my comments to the teacher who organised the trip, who happens to be his class teacher for next year (great - she'll think I'm a loony)

She has also arranged for some testing for ds next week, which is what I emailed about in April. So I think I was right to get stroppy. I think it made her do something. I wish it hadn't been necessary though.

LynetteScavo Fri 12-Jul-13 16:47:52

Harrumph! DS has come home from school with burnt legs. I only applied it to face and arms this morning, we have to apply at 7.30 because I drop him at before school club, and potentially he's there until 5.30pm....would have been nice if his teacher had reminded the class to re-apply, as they spent the afternoon outside making the most of the weather. At ten they are old enough to put it on themselves, but not actually think of doing it.

RoooneyMara Fri 12-Jul-13 17:00:53

Oh Lynette I'm sorry. That sucks.

It is horrible leaving your child in the care of someone who cannot take care of them...and knowing you're taking that risk, well I hate it, but what else can we do?

I HE my middle one at the moment, which helps, otherwise I'd probably be tearing my hair out.

clam Fri 12-Jul-13 17:12:48

How do you know the teacher didn't remind them to re-apply?

LynetteScavo Fri 12-Jul-13 22:02:33

Er...I asked DS. DS really likes the cream he takes to school and would happily rub it on if he thought of it/was reminded to. But I can see how if the whole class went out, and then ended up staying out longer than expected kids could burn.I also asked if the teacher suggested they put hats on. Apparently not, but DS put his on anyway.

Knowing this teacher (who is an absolutely fabulous, energetic, 22yo male, who DS and I love to bits) I can see how he would overlook something like this.

It's the second time DS has got burnt at school this year, though, so I'm going to have a quiet word on Monday. Judging by the redness the class must have been outside for quite sometime.

clam Sat 13-Jul-13 10:17:27

Well, he's hardly likely to admit that his teacher reminded the class to apply sun-cream but he refused.
Wish I had a £1 for every time I've stood at the door either in school or away on residential trips quizzing each child on where their fleeces/waterproofs/water bottles/sunhats/whatever are (after they've been told several times in no uncertain terms to bring them) and STILL they try to leave the building without them. I send them back to get a, b and c, and they'll return with a, but not b or c and so on.
And last week, I had to chase dd (14) down the drive spraying an aerosol sunspray at the back of her neck after she swore she'd put it on already (but hadn't!).
My point is that teachers DO care about these things, but we're sometimes fighting a losing battle. As parents are too.

Hulababy Sat 13-Jul-13 10:25:23

We remind children to put sun cream on if they need to. but it doesn't mean they all listen and act upon it. We can't force them to do it, especially as there is no way of knowing of who need to or not. And it just isn't feasible to remind all children individually. This is why I think once a day is your best bet for school. Yes it is a bit dearer but ime it does last longer. Or you have to drill in to your children that they must apply sun cream and give them trigger times to do so - ie at lunch time.

Hulababy Sat 13-Jul-13 10:28:51

Please remember that many teachers and TAs are also parents. They actually do care. We actually care a great deal about our charges.

But supervising 30 children is just not the same as looking after your own 1, 2, 3 or 4 children. And teachers and TAs cannot force children to do these things - we are not their mum and dad. And tbh so many children come to school without basic necessities - sun hats, suncream, wellies, rain coats, bags, packed lunches, water bottles....... we are not super heroes. We can't magic everything up and we cannot give your one individual child the same amount of attention as you can, as we have 29 others to look after too.

Hulababy Sat 13-Jul-13 10:34:26

rabbitstew - I am a mum to an 11yo. I know a lot of 10 and 11 year olds. I was a teacher in a secondary school. I am now a HLTA in an infant school. And sorry - but most 10yo ime are capable of applying sun cream and be responsible for themselves . And if they are not, which I know some are not - then once a day sun cream, again ime, works very well and prevents sun burn. I can be applied before school and will then last til after home time.

So less of your whinging at at please. School teachers are not super human. they are normal human beings and you know what/ Most of them, the vast vast majority in fact, actually like and care about children. They don't want them to be sore or hurt. They care. But there is only so much one adult can do for 30 children at any one time.

I have already said that the trip itself was odd.

But the sun cream issue one is one that can be sorted pretty easily ime.

clam Sat 13-Jul-13 10:37:52

Think we're wasting our breath here, hulababy. The OP is determined to blame the school. There seems to be some sort of 'previous' going on I think.

rabbitstew Sat 13-Jul-13 11:20:18

clam - the OP is blaming the school for poor communication (and inappropriate trips). Do you really think she does not have a point in this instance?!

Hulababy - I am a mum to a 9-year old who had to be taught how to roll over, crawl, walk, dress himself, wash his hair, etc, etc... He's had years of physiotherapy and intensive parental support to learn how to be as independent as possible so that we don't have to bother the school. By the time he is 10 I am 100% certain he will still be allergic to all day suncream and still incapable of putting any other type of suncream on himself reliably. Do I therefore expect the school to do it for him? No - I just expect them to communicate with me effectively so that I can find some way of taking responsibility. If schools don't communicate effectively, they force parents to pathologise their children's issues in order to get support and that's really a waste of everyone's time and money if the parent only really wants a bit of effective communication...

Hulababy Sat 13-Jul-13 11:39:42

That's fine then. It is special circumstances and of course in those situations schools need to be more aware and more communicative. And ime they generally will be.
I was talking about most 10yos though, I did point that out.

rabbitstew Sat 13-Jul-13 11:41:54

But I don't really want my child to be viewed by his whole class and teacher as a special circumstance, Hulababy, and I think you would be surprised how many other children actually do have issues that make putting suncream on themselves quite a big task even at the age of 10 or 11 - it might be part of the reason why so few respond to teachers' reminders!

Hulababy Sat 13-Jul-13 11:43:47

I think you're right clam. The op post is entitled sun cream and I was responding to that. There was no suggestion re the op's child had any issue with using once a day cream (my own dd can't use that many creams either, infant p20 and ultrasun are two of the very few she can use without reacting in some way) or have any physical reasons for not being able to use sun cream alone.

rabbitstew Sat 13-Jul-13 11:44:53

I know my child isn't so unusual that there won't be a few children in every class that are not capable of administering their own suncream.

rabbitstew Sat 13-Jul-13 11:46:43

The content of the OP's initial post was clearly about poor communication from the school and asking for advice on suncream that lasts. In my view, therefore, what she was upset about was poor communication.

daftdame Sat 13-Jul-13 13:27:06

The children who need extra help with suncream might not actually need that much extra help.

A reminder to apply might be enough. Teachers could possibly encourage peers to point out bits missed. Eg before break time 'Those who have suncream with them need to put it on before going out...'

clam Sat 13-Jul-13 13:42:13

Hmm, yes but your average child is unlikely to pause in their dash for the sunny playground or field long enough to administer it.

daftdame Sat 13-Jul-13 13:50:04

Better than nothing though clam.

If the teacher was watching they could check the children were doing this. If a parent has mentioned this to the teacher they could keep an eye on that particular child so that they do this.

daftdame Sat 13-Jul-13 13:52:34

Even in secondary school we had instructions to 'clear away' etc 5mins before the end of session. This would be a similar type of instruction.

clam Sat 13-Jul-13 14:26:15

Clear away 5 minutes early from each lesson before an outside break to apply sunscreen?

Hulababy Sat 13-Jul-13 15:04:20

So 15 min a day, 5 days a week? That's a lot of time missed.
Even 5 min once a day is nearly half an hour a week missed in an already busy curriculum.

daftdame Sat 13-Jul-13 15:19:44

Needs must, healthy schools and all that...

There always seems to be down time for other things, DVDs, free time drawing etc

I'd say suncream would probably take 5 mins not 15. How can you not allow time for this?

If done at the beginning of playtime (or just before) or lunch considering most sunscream lasts 4 hours, would only cut into playtime in a minor way. Same as putting wellies and hats and gloves on in winter. At least canvass parents....

clam Sat 13-Jul-13 15:19:58

Just thinking also about my day yesterday. Hot temperatures, beautiful sunshine. We had outdoor PE first session, followed by playtime, also outside. Maths involved going out on a trail around the school. Lunch was picnicking on the field. For the afternoon session we had an impromptu offer from a visitor who wanted to do an exciting activity outside too.

Which of these activities, none of which are unusual in a primary school, nor trigger the need for a note home, should I have disallowed, just in case little Jimmy's mum hadn't applied suncream?

daftdame Sat 13-Jul-13 15:24:45

Clam Do not disallow any of the activities. Just encourage (actively) the application of suncream and wearing of hats. How would you feel if one of the children got sunstroke? sunburn?

If you know a day like that is on the cards, you could at least requisition some hats from lost property. I would have practically melted - very fair skin.

clam Sat 13-Jul-13 15:40:21

I think my earlier post demonstrated how hard my colleagues and I go to armlock encourage appropriate clothing. I also badger them to play in the shade. Some of them mainly boys look at me as if I'm nuts.

clam Sat 13-Jul-13 15:43:55

And my point was that parents shouldn't assume that they only need to provide suncream and hats if a note home has specifically mentioned a trip out. At this time of year, classes can go outside on any pretext - to make up for all those wet plays we moan about the rest of the year.

daftdame Sat 13-Jul-13 15:48:50

Good to hear it clam.

What I said was mainly in reference to the doubting there is enough time to remind about applying suncream. I think in this type of weather you have to allow for this. Loco parentis and all that...

rabbitstew Sat 13-Jul-13 15:49:30

I think UK schools could do with getting some advice from Australian schools and adults with some better public education on sunscreen use and protecting yourself from the sun and advice on how dangerous is is getting burnt in the UK (and how easy). Looking on the Sunsmart website for Victoria, Australia (www.sunsmart.com.au/default.asp), I don't see any mention of All Day sunscreens, but lots of advice on applying factor 30+ sunscreen every 2 hours regardless of what the label on the bottle says. This applies whenever the UV levels are above 3 - today in the UK, UV levels are at 6. Australian schools must therefore have worked out some way of ensuring there is time for adequate sunscreen application, that schools have adequate shade, uniforms provide good sun protection, children are trained how to apply sunscreen effectively and regularly reminded to apply sunscreen, etc, etc. Particularly for sports, even at adults' sporting events, people are reminded about the importance of seeking shade, regular announcements reminding them are made and sunscreen is provided for people who arrived unprepared. The attitude that it's the 10-year old's responsibility or all the parent's fault if the child is unprotected and sent out on a half-day sporting event clearly doesn't cut any ice in Australia, given the potentially serious consequences.

More education for everyone on sun safety and the importance of vitamin D, given the fact that UV levels in this country have been creeping up over the last 50 years, would be very useful indeed, I think.

rabbitstew Sat 13-Jul-13 16:41:11

Looks like the UK does have an organisation to encourage schools to become more "sunsafe."

rabbitstew Sat 13-Jul-13 16:59:35

I note the website refers to 15-20 minutes a day exposure of unprotected skin to the sun to produce enough vitamin D. It doesn't say how much of your skin needs to be exposed - just the face? Just the arms and face? Or do you need to be wearing shorts? At what time of day? Other websites have suggested this is actually at midday!... At what times of year is this amount of sun exposure required, given that between October and March there isn't enough UV in many parts of the UK to really make vitamin D? How is one supposed to manage unprotected skin if wearing all day sunscreen? At what times of year is 15-20 minutes exposure enough? And how long does one need in the UK for adequate vitamin D production if one does not have bare skin, but has all day sunscreen on? And if the sun is strong, should schools be taking children out in it without sunglasses? I know skin cancer is awful, but melanoma of the eye, cataracts and macular degeneration are awful, too.

The advice is pretty naff, in general, imo.

rabbitstew Sat 13-Jul-13 17:00:14

By that, I mean advice from any source when it comes to what is the right thing to do for someone based in the UK.

defineme Sat 13-Jul-13 17:10:22

Along with the once stuff that does seem to see my kids through sports day, Boots also sells sticks of solid sunblock f50 that looks like a solid deodrant-it is clear and my kids can easily apply it without the mess/leakage that occurs with other stuff.My cream averse ds1 age 11 who has asd will put up with that one and can put it on himself.
I think you have to take kids through how to apply suncream and why we need it
As for the trip-how odd!

rabbitstew Sat 13-Jul-13 17:52:48

Hmm. Ds1 has so come out in a rash with all sunscreen products we've tried so far with the exception of Sunsense toddler milk, which a dermatologist recommended. It's not at all easy to put on, though, as it's pretty runny, even if in roller form.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now