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My son is burnt, I am fuming, is the school in the wrong?

(152 Posts)
bigmouthstrikesagain Tue 30-Jun-09 16:35:48

Ds is 4 and in reception today was his sport day. We weren't permitted to watch due to numbers.

He had suncream applied this am (factor 50), but we have been asked not to sendccream into school.

He has come home today with severe sunburn large angry red raised patches all the way up his legs and forearms.

His hat was lost so he prob wasn't wearing that either.

I am very angry with the school especially as if we had been there I could have applied more suncream!

Am I overeacting?

FiveGoMadInDorset Tue 30-Jun-09 16:37:14

No you are not overeacting, the school has a duty of care and have not fulfilled it.

FiveGoMadInDorset Tue 30-Jun-09 16:37:59

I would ask to see his teacher in the first instance.

bigmouthstrikesagain Tue 30-Jun-09 16:38:13

Should add that I am red haired and freckly extremely fair skin - my ds is blonde and clearly as crap in sun as I am!sad

fucksticks Tue 30-Jun-09 16:38:44

I'd be fuming too.
I'd definitely go in and make a complaint. If they stopped parents being there during the sports day then they should have made arrangements themselves to take care of the children in the sun! Ridiculous and irresponsible to just let them burn

doggiesayswoof Tue 30-Jun-09 16:39:30

I don't think you are overreacting.

I know this is a problem - in nurseries staff will apply sun cream but I know loads of schools will not get teachers to do this. Part of the same guidelines that stop teachers hugging kids etc.

Will watch with interest as DD is starting school this year and it's one of the things I am ? about.

I'm not sure what the answer is if the policy says teachers will not do it and parents can't be there.

bigmouthstrikesagain Tue 30-Jun-09 16:40:45

I might have to keep ds off school if burn is particularly bad but dh is working from home so I can go in and give them what for!

GrimmaTheNome Tue 30-Jun-09 16:41:53

Huh? you were asked not to send in suncream? We were always asked to send in cream (and extra water) for infants sports.

DD is in juniors now, and for their sports day the school supplied cream for anyone who hadn't brought in their own.

hereidrawtheline Tue 30-Jun-09 16:44:00

I would be angry about this! Also I am not in the school world really yet DS is in preschool but I've never heard of a sports day parents couldnt attend, I thought that was part of the point of it.

But at any rate if they are that oblivious to the dangers of sun on a sports day in a heatwave I'd also be worried they didnt have enough to drink all day! What were the standards for that? At DS's preschool they insist you have suncream, sunhat, and that you tell your children to always remember they can ask for a drink at any time, even though they regularly offer them with snack etc. Surely they dont think a 4 year old is capable of sorting sun safety on his own?

belgo Tue 30-Jun-09 16:44:16

tbh I'm surprised that schools still have sports day at all, what with all the 'health and safety' concerns.

Go and give them what for if that will make make you feel better but remember at some point schools will be too worried even to let children play outside at all.

CarGirl Tue 30-Jun-09 16:45:24

I would take some photos of it this afternoon so you have photographic evidence to show them just how bad it is.

Their policy is ridiculous regular suncream only lasts a couple of hours before it is ineffective. Even the special stuff only lasts 6 hours.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 30-Jun-09 16:46:25

This no-touch thing has gone too far if it results in physical harm like this ... I can just about understand wanting another adult present, but surely a reception class would have had teacher and TA? Or they could have asked for a few helpers for sports day to deal with cream and water and hatting.

bigmouthstrikesagain Tue 30-Jun-09 16:49:23

Belgo it is not to make me feel better but to protect ds skin. it is insane to make 4 year olds run around in the hottest part of the day in the sun. They could have done it in the am or made sure that parents who wanted to could come and ensure their children were wearing sunscreen.

Common sense IMO not 'elf and safety!

OrmIrian Tue 30-Jun-09 16:49:33

Don't give them what for. What would be the point? It isn't anyone being deliberately neglectful, just bad planning. Just ask them to rethink their policy in the light of your DS's sunburn.

milou2 Tue 30-Jun-09 16:50:52

No, you are not over reacting. It is a mad old world when parents even ask that question. How can schools have bullied parents so severely that they can let a child in their care get burnt and then the parent is the one wondering if they are in the wrong. Words fail me.

I bet the school will continue to bully by speaking down to any parent who keeps their child off to let them recover from sunburn.

Yes, I have had that experience. And our taxes pay for this.

I would be livid (pardon the pun) if it were my nearly 14 year old, let alone a 4 year old.

CarGirl Tue 30-Jun-09 16:53:16

actually I am reconsidering my position. I would be considering legal action against them.

I was very severely sunburnt as a child, I still have the scars to prove it.

It is absolutely insane that they had dc outside in this weather without adequate protection.

What time was it and have you asked your ds if he watched all the races?

BonsoirAnna Tue 30-Jun-09 16:54:03

A little girl in my DD's class got very burnt yesterday in the sunshine. She is very fair skinned with bright red hair, so the most vulnerable type - my DD is only a shade or to less fair, and didn't burn, so I don't think that the school can have been super negligent.

I had purposefully put my DD in a long sleeved top yesterday, to protect her; the little girl who got burnt was wearing a sleeveless dress.

I think that if your child burns very easily, the very best policy is to teach him/her to protect him/herself as much as possible from the sun. This includes covering up with clothes and wearing sunglasses.

Mutt Tue 30-Jun-09 16:55:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hereidrawtheline Tue 30-Jun-09 16:55:59

belgo I dont really agree.

I am quite laid back in general but it smacks a bit of the "pc gorn mad" argument which is a bit easy to say but not necessarily right. No one wants children to not be able to play outside, my school have them playing out all the time! But surely you should still meet basic safety needs, and in this heat that means sun protection and water, shade, cool when required.

Northernlurker Tue 30-Jun-09 16:59:01

I don't think it's unreasonable to ask them how their planning has gone so awry as to leave children outside in the hottest part of the day without adequate protection. Nothing to do with Sports day quite honestly - it's the length of time they've had him outside without apparently thinking that it might cause a problem.

belgo Tue 30-Jun-09 16:59:01

But what has led to this 'no touch' policy in the first place?

It's due to the school's fear of litigation. That same fear of litigation has led to fewer school trips and even 'no running' policies in the playground.

It's the fear of litigation that has led to this boy being sun burnt.

Going in and giving 'what for' pitch forks blazing will not help the situation one bit.

belgo Tue 30-Jun-09 17:01:24

I do agree in going in and speaking to the school, but do it calmly and reasonably.

vonsudenfed Tue 30-Jun-09 17:02:48

I think if they have asked you not to send suncream in they are a) bonkers and b) have pretty clearly shown that they haven't thought the issues through in the slightest (which is what any reasonable health or safety policy would ask you to do). So they have in every way been negligent.

I wouldn't just go in fuming, though - ask them what their policy is on sun protection (is shade available in the playground etc etc) and then take it to the governors if you don't get a sensible response. It might also be worth finding out if the council, or whoever oversees the school, has some sun protection policies that they haven't followed. Make sure that something happens as a result of this.

bigmouthstrikesagain Tue 30-Jun-09 17:03:08

I am angry now but I will be fair and reasonable tomorrow. I just think lessons need to be learnt about what is appropriate for very young children in this heat.

That requires me to point out some obvious issues with their policy on suncream. I don't think that means I am hysterical, but as I got burned and suffered sunstroke as a child I am very aware of the dangers of overexposure!

hocuspontas Tue 30-Jun-09 17:04:29

I agree, but try getting 30 R children to stay in the shade, drink drink and DRINK, wear their hats, sit and cool down for a minute etc. It's bloody hard. No wonder some schools just think sod it and ban the children from going out.

Obviously mention it to the school so they can adjust what they are doing. But find out what happened - they might have told him to stay in the shade but he didn't. I think if you want to send in suncream it should be allowed, but the children should apply it themselves. Having a teacher/TA apply 30 lots of suncream twice a day isn't really practical!

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