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Sunscreen policy.

(39 Posts)
megcleary Thu 23-Jun-11 21:36:11

Probably done to death I know but have just been to dds school where she will start in Sept.

Lots in the policies we have been given saying they will not apply sunscreen.

Now I know that it is probably due to numbers in the class but i think that is expecting too much of a 4 year old (& dd will just turn 4 end of august).

Will they just laugh at me if I challenge it?

AuntieMonica Thu 23-Jun-11 21:42:08

I have the greatest sympathies with you on this, DD (4yrs) has very sensitive skin, terrible prickly heat, allergic to conventional suncreams.....we have found a cream she can use, and has to wear a hat at all times, just to be sure.

Her nursery will not apply cream, and fair enough, if she got the wrong one it could be very painful for her, but i think schools should be promoting sunsense, and if that means helping the younger ones out, or even getting the kids to help each other, then so be it.

megcleary Thu 23-Jun-11 21:50:10

Well I just think sunburn is not a risk to take with skin these days melanoma rates are rising.

AuntieMonica Thu 23-Jun-11 21:53:15

totally agree, it's all about taking care of yourself isn't it?

we'll have to keep chipping away at policy then wink

blackeyedsusan Thu 23-Jun-11 21:55:37

any use?

meditrina Thu 23-Jun-11 22:03:46

I has children both sides of the rolling out of such policies at school. The TA said it was much quicker for staff to do it (and the coverage was probably better).

Then they asked for single application cream before the child arrived. But there doesn't seem to be adequate research on whether these actually do really give the expected duration of protection - especially on bits rubbed by edges of clothes but likely to be in the sun (like backs of necks). Finding out by getting burnt is a Bad Thing, and very unfair to fair-skinned children who are more vulnerable.

Fortunately, it never became an issue for us as DD had sensible teachers from the Antipodes (where melanoma awareness is light years ahead of UK, and the cumulative effect if childhood overexposure much more appreciated). They were prepared to interpret the policy pragmatically and help DD top up the most vulnerable areas before lunchtime play. And get her to keep her hat on!

AurraSing Thu 23-Jun-11 22:10:59

When she was in reception, I sent DD in with a sunscreen stick. She was able to apply it herself with no help. Now, the school don't encourage children to bring in sunscreen, so I just slap the 10 hour stuff on her before she goes to school. The teachers are pretty good at making sure everyone wears their hats and stay in the shade.

Hopefully, they won't be too many scorching days in September.

hocuspontas Thu 23-Jun-11 22:19:09

It's just logistics. There could possibly be only 1 teacher to 30 pupils. By the time the children have all got their suncreams out and the teacher has rubbed in each cream and washed her hands 30 times, lunchtime could be over. grin

4 years old CAN rub their own cream in, they just have to be shown how to do it properly. Use the summer to teach them and also cover basic sunsense - wear a hat, keep in the shade as much as possible, keep shoulders covered etc.

RoadArt Thu 23-Jun-11 22:28:32

Maybe they have had issues with parents in the past. Some people dont like other adults putting cream on their kids - same hands being used on different children without being washed in between - spread of infections... etc.

Some kids have allergies to creams.

Very very time consuming for someone to put cream on 30 kids.

There are plenty of sun creams that can last 6 hours.

There are hats available with large brims. Teach your child that they do not go outside without a hat.

We live in a hot country and our teachers do not put cream on our kids. the kids are not allowed to play outside without a hat and they have to wear sunsmart clothes. They are taught from an early age that the sun is dangerous and they must be protected. Children are very accepting and if they learn and understand the rules they will very quickly be capable of sorting themselves out.

megcleary Thu 23-Jun-11 22:29:47

If they went on a school trip would they let a 4 year old cross the road alone?

I wonder what the polices are in Australia. (I have googled but bit hard to figure out)

theothermrsclooney Thu 23-Jun-11 22:44:26

Hi our school are supposed to top up the cream on reception class pupils but regularly forgot, were distracted etc. I have since discovered Boots Soltan Once which offers 6 hr protection and actually does protect for this length of time. Both my DCs have sensitive skin (eczema etc) and have been fine although I don't use on DD's very sensitive face. I use Clinque (I know as my husband points out her cream costs more ml for ml than anyone elses but she has reacted to Lavera, Green People etc and has had absolute no reaction to this!). DD knows to wear a hat during playtime and has a spare in hwe book bag just in case.

blackeyedsusan Thu 23-Jun-11 22:45:39

not every child brings sun cream and yes it is possible to apply cream to children and get lunch.. they do most of it themselves and get a little help. been there done that with reception age children

FionaJT Thu 23-Jun-11 22:57:40

Our school doesn't apply sunscreen - it was suggested that they are covered by parents before school and come in with the stick sunscreens to top up themselves if necessary, which seems to work. Also, an anonymous wellwisher donated the money to buy a set of sun hats (with a flap down the back) for the class in reception which are brought out in a box at break for them to put on. I think this has happened a few years running and each class keeps their hats for the rest of infants.

crazycarol Thu 23-Jun-11 23:01:43

My dd is very fair and I tought her at an early age to apply suncream as best she could. the roll-on or stick type were always managed better than the liquid or spray. Although we did put the longer lasting ones on in the morning before school we made sure she took some to school to reapply at lunch time to the exposed bits. Why not get the kids to help each other as dd used to love putting the cream on her dad and rubbing it in.

meditrina Thu 23-Jun-11 23:09:07

Here is a model Australian school sun protection policy.

Two things to note - the school years are known to be the crucial period for sustaining damaging levels of sun exposure, and - a clear recommendation that 30+ sunscreen is applied 15-30 minutes to all exposed parts before going into the sun.

Isitreally Fri 24-Jun-11 09:18:50

We use Ultrasun Protection SPF50+ Extreme Formula which lasts for the whole school day and is a very high factor one. The downside is that it's nearly £20 a bottle but it lasts a whole Summer used everyday on 2 children and there's no worry about them having to reapply it at school.

meditrina Fri 24-Jun-11 12:27:42

Factors above "30+" are not legally permitted in Australia as the evidence for efficacy beyond that is not proven. Nor is whether protection lasts in line with manufacturers' claims, hence explicit guideline of apply 15-30 minutes before exposure.

And you need to make sure that it is properly applied. Supervising children adequately means you can't watch more than a couple at a time. Given that children are slower than adults, this means it takes far, far longer than having the adult apply it in the first place (though of course the child will learn to do it better with practice).

This approach does of course assume that your aim is to have the children properly protected to the best available evidence-based standards.

Isitreally Fri 24-Jun-11 12:33:16

I think OP is in the UK
Therefore any once-a-day sun cream would be better than nothing surely?
UK schools don't apply sun cream as standard practice and I can't imagine the supervision of children applying it themselves will be as good as if a parent was there so a once a day formulation could be the solution.

ASByatt Fri 24-Jun-11 12:34:56

We also use Ultrasun, so application is supervised at home before school. School policy is for DC to wear sunhats. Not had any problems, and Ds has very pale skin which reacts to any other sort of cream that we've tried.

meditrina Fri 24-Jun-11 12:37:54

Depends on how you see it. The sun is just as risky wherever you are, and most damage is done in childhood.

Once a day gives a false sense of reassurance. Its longevity on an actual moving person, who eg rubs their face or has a collar in contact with skin, has not been adequately demonstrated.

veritythebrave Fri 24-Jun-11 12:43:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Isitreally Fri 24-Jun-11 12:53:31

Meditrina - I think most people know what is best but since schools will not help with sun cream application, the choice is to use a once a day formula or to teach a 4 year old to rub cream into the back of his knees and neck in the few nano seconds before break time starts!
Nobody is saying it wouldn't be ideal to have adults reapplying it frequently but that will not and does not happen in schools so parents must either train young children to do it or use a once a day cream.

megcleary Fri 24-Jun-11 13:51:43

Is the reason they will not do it purely the time factor.

Isitreally Fri 24-Jun-11 15:13:23

No - not purely a time thing although that is the main reason. 30 squirming 4 year olds are going to take a long time to cover properly in suncream and mst breaks are only 20 minutes of so.
There is also child protection worries. I am not saying it's against the rules but teachers are understandably wary about asking a pupil to move their clothing a bit when cream needs applying (and if you don't move hems and collars it can stain) and about the medication aspect of it - that some creams can cause reactions and teachers may not want to be open to accusations that they used the wrong cream on the wrong child and caused a problem etc.

meditrina Fri 24-Jun-11 15:25:36

So inconvenience is more important than cancer?

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