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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.

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.

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 17:00:14

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.

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 16:41:11
Looks like the UK does have an organisation to encourage schools to become more "sunsafe."

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 (, 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.

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...

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.

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.

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 15:19:58

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 15:19:44

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....

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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 13:27:06

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...'

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.

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.

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 11:41:54

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 11:39:42

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 11:20:18

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...

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.

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