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suncream and school

(91 Posts)
bobblewobble Thu 20-Feb-14 09:57:03

I am just wondering what all your schools do regarding sun cream at school.

My son has recently turned five and is in reception. In his second year of nursery, he burnt on a few occasions whilst at school. (He was only there 2.5 hours) I always applied sun cream an hour before school starting and also before taking him into class, 9-11.30. I spoke to his teachers about him burning and asked if they could apply sun cream half way through class. They spoke to the headmaster who said they were not allowed to do this, due to child protection issues. I asked if there was a way around it, like two teachers present or if I got the sun cream prescribed. No! I asked if he could do it himself or if they could spray it on him and not touch him. No!

I have now started to worry about what will happen this year now that he is in school all day. When out ourselves, we apply sun cream every hour as he really does burn so quickly. Ten minutes in the sun and he is red for a few days. He is very fair skin and ginger hair. My husband is awaiting genetic testing as his family have a strong history of skin cancer (10 year old cousin had it to) and his father has the faulty gene. I have a younger daughter at the school who has much darker skin and doesn't burn so easily so can have the sun cream applied once before nursery and I'm sure she won't burn.

Last year I bought one of those sun proof tops, still applied sun cream and he still burnt sad He also keeps a hat with a neck protector at school, so that he always has a hat available.

Do your schools allow teachers to apply sun cream?

Dwerf Thu 20-Feb-14 10:06:25

Mine are allowed to take it in and apply it themselves. I think the spray-on might be your best bet here for getting it topped up at school. My sympathies though, because getting burnt in that time frame must be a nightmare to prevent. I have one who managed to get blistered one October, she's very pale. It's hard work and it seems your son is even more sensitive.

Fantissue Thu 20-Feb-14 10:06:47

If the school remind him can he not do it himself? Five is old enough to be able to rub on sunscreen unless he has other problems.

formerbabe Thu 20-Feb-14 10:10:29

I bought a very expensive factor 50 which lasts all day...its waterproof. I used it myself (I burn really easily) and it really did last all day...I put it on once in the morning and that was it and I didn't burn. It was £30 quid a bottle but well worth it.

chipsandpeas Thu 20-Feb-14 10:10:59

what about the suncream thats supposed to last all day....would that be a option

bobblewobble Thu 20-Feb-14 10:12:07

I'm hoping to get a meeting before we get any warmer weather and hope to get it sorted. He wasn't allowed himself last year but I will try again this year.

They know how easily he burns as he burnt one day when there was a light drizzle and complete cloud cover. We are used to applying sun cream regularly - even for car journeys and have taught him to apply himself. It's whether the school will allow him and remind him.

With the worry this year of the skin cancer gene, I am even more paranoid sad

ForgettableTampon Thu 20-Feb-14 10:12:09


it's all about time management for the staff as well as safeguarding and allergy awareness

30 children need applications before playtime, each taking 5 mins max, teacher needs to identify each child's tube or pot, glove up, apply, deglove, repeat. Playtime over before the applications are done. Non-starter, sorry.

you can get the 6 or 8 hour suncreams, they are v good (boots range is quite often on 3 for 2 or buy one get one half price)

another option is to send your child in with his own (labelled) bottle or tube having taught him to apply himself - the roll on ones are VERY easy, kid friendly, to use.

CMOTDibbler Thu 20-Feb-14 10:12:20

I'd use something like P20, or Soltan Once in factor 50 on him, plus the hat and sun top. I'm very fair and burn badly but now apply Once in the morning and would only need to top up in late afternoon even if out all day.

Our school tell you to use once a day cream, but will reapply if you send it in. Holiday club the same, but I'd rather have a good base of all day to start from.

yolothankgod Thu 20-Feb-14 10:14:05

My Ds school ask you to leave a bottle of sun cream with your child's name on & the teacher puts it on the kids when necessary

bobblewobble Thu 20-Feb-14 10:14:08

I have tried p20 on him which is meant to last all day. My husband same colouring used it abroad and was fine. My son had it on for half an hour and he had burnt quite badly.

I will happily try any other sun cream that claims to last all day if you wouldn't mind giving me the names please?

Theresadogonyourballs Thu 20-Feb-14 10:14:49

I think I would be heading down the medical route if I were you - letters from your GP or consultant if you have one. Does your school have a nurse? They must at least have some first aiders - surely it cannot be a child protection issue to rub cream on arms and faces? What do they do if a child falls over and needs Savlon and a plaster if they're not allowed to touch them? I'd be taking this further if I were you - good luck!

cathpip Thu 20-Feb-14 10:15:00

The lad I look after is fair skinned with red hair and burns very easily, his mum bought a bottle of the last all day sunscreen, think it's called P20?. It does last all day.

ForgettableTampon Thu 20-Feb-14 10:16:33

do you think you need to see a dermatologist? seriously if P20 is no use then there might be a prescription-only formulation that's suitable

cathpip Thu 20-Feb-14 10:16:54

Ahhhh, clearly it did not work for you! Could you get a sunscreen on prescription? I also know that my ds is allowed to reapply sun cream at lunchtime, he is also 5.

hootloop Thu 20-Feb-14 10:20:23

Hi, due to family history of sun cancer (with a lttter from our GP stating as much) I arranged to go in to school at the beginning of lunch time to put suncream on DS while he was at infants, as they weren't allowed to take their own in because of possible allergies and staff wee not allowed to apply it anyway. He is now allowed to take it in and do it himself at junior school.
When DD starts in September I hope to make the sane arrangement, I know not everyone can do this but if you are in a position to I think you have good reason to ask if it would be possible.

hootloop Thu 20-Feb-14 10:21:27

*skin cancer obviously not sun cancer.

bobblewobble Thu 20-Feb-14 10:22:02

I spoke to his gp about getting it prescribed but they are not allowed to prescribe it anymore. The school has a nurse who comes in occasionally but not a nurse on site.

They have first aiders, who have applied plasters ( I was shocked at that, as I thought they weren't allowed plasters - he has a severe dairy allergy, so I never once thought they would try him with a plaster)

They also changed his clothes when he wet himself not long ago. They change the nursery children to. This confused me, they can't apply sun cream to face, arms and legs but can completely undress a child to change them.

I completely understand the time issue but that was not the reason they gave me, it was child protection issues as to why they would not apply it.

MissyO Thu 20-Feb-14 10:24:23

At our school they 'help' each other put their suncream on.
I think for the hottest days the school need to be looking at keeping him in the shade.Do they have gazebo's etc for the children?

bobblewobble Thu 20-Feb-14 10:27:21

Yes if they still cannot apply it I will try to arrange to go in at dinner and even possibly the other two playtimes they have. Only issue with that is applying just before going out will not give the sun cream time to sink in.

I will make an appointment with the dr for him again and see if there is anything else they can suggest or do.

CMOTDibbler Thu 20-Feb-14 10:27:56

I use the Soltan Once 50, and it really does work, even on my nerve damaged arm.

But I wonder if your son might be best seeing a dermatolgist as burning through a sun protection top and sunscreen seems very extreme, and maybe it needs looking into more.

Goldmandra Thu 20-Feb-14 10:29:19

Ask for a meeting with the school nurse and the school staff or SENCO to work out how your son's need for sun protection can be met.

They have a duty to protect him from sunburn while ensuring that he has equal access to the full curriculum. Present them with the problem and suggest that they work out how they will solve it satisfactorily.

RunRunRuby Thu 20-Feb-14 10:29:27

I burn very easily but P20 worked for me too. Without wishing to sound rude, has your son been seen by any kind of specialist? It sounds extreme even for someone with fair skin. He might have a condition that can be treated, or they might be able to prescribe a better sunscreen. Also I read somewhere about supplements you can take to prevent skin damage from the inside but I can't remember where it was now, I will have a Google.

I've always been very fair, and had red hair as a child, and put my own sunscreen on at school. Hopefully the school would agree to remind him, otherwise I guess you will just need to really drum into him to put his sun cream on before going outside. Could you put the bottle or at least a reminder note in his lunchbox, assuming they eat before going outside?

BlackeyedSusan Thu 20-Feb-14 10:30:28

if it is child protection issue, all I can think of is hiitting them back with the not protecting the child from injury in school.

also, have you tried tesco factor 50 for childen? it ok s on me red-head that got sunburnt in march in the uk. it orks on ds who is a sensitive floer too.

try contacting lea or governors for advice too.

I used to supervise children putting on cream. helping pour/squeeze and pointing out missed bits or need-rubbing-in bits. then i am painfully aware of the consequences of not applying suncream.

CrohnicallyFarting Thu 20-Feb-14 10:30:36

I work in a school, and our sun cream policy states that children can apply their own sun cream, or have the school's own applied (the parents are sent a form allowing them to opt out if they want to, we assume that no response means we can go ahead, we do it this way to avoid children having no sun cream and no permission and burning). The school's own is a spray on, so we line the children up, one spray on each arm and tell the children to rub it in, spray in each hand and tell them to do faces and necks, spray on each leg if applicable. The whole process takes 5 minutes to do the whole class and we do not need to touch any of the children. (This is a year 1 class by the way)

If the doctor won't prescribe sun cream, will they write an official letter explaining that your son has extremely sun sensitive skin, and all day creams are not suitable. To be honest, it's so extreme it almost sounds like a mild sun allergy, so perhaps should be treated as one?

I think the child protection issue is that changing a wet child, or giving them first aid is unavoidable so the risk is worthwhile, whereas for many children sun cream application is avoidable through the use of all day creams so not worth the risk.

bobblewobble Thu 20-Feb-14 10:30:42

When he was in nursery they put up shades and had him play under the shades and also kept the shutter down of the shelter to keep most sun away from the children. His first nursery teacher encouraged him to do activities indoors, as she had a daughter the same colouring and was worried about him.

I think having friends help each other put on sun cream is a good idea but I think they would need the agreement of all other parents to do that.

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