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To have called DS's teacher about sunburn?

66 replies

PartySmartie · 30/06/2015 12:34

A few weeks ago DS's afternoon class consisted of them playing outside with water. DS came home sunburnt. I was quite annoyed, but DS burns easily so I didn't say anything.

This afternoon they will also be playing outside. I called his teacher to ask her to keep an eye on him and to ask that if he starts to burn to call him over into the shade for a bit. She said that would be difficult as there isn't much shade. She asked if he could keep his t-shirt on and I said I have sent him in covered in sun cream and also with one of those sun-protect swimming shirts. It seemed to me that she thought I was being a bit ott in asking her to make sure he doesn't burn and that it's not her responsibility. Personally I think it's ridiculous that they let children play outside between 1330-1530 with very little shade available on days when the temperature is set to reach 36 degrees. Should I not have called her? Am I being one of those parents?

OP posts:

TheHouseOnBellSt · 30/06/2015 12:37

Would he usually take his t shirt off? Confused

Don't you put sun cream on him?


TheHouseOnBellSt · 30/06/2015 12:38

I mean usually...the day he burned did he not have sun cream on?


Denimwithdenim00 · 30/06/2015 12:41

should I not have called her what does that mean?

The teacher can't put on sun cream I am afraid as it's against Ofsted safeguarding policy. I am a cm and can apply only with parents permission and only with cream supplied by parents. I only do those who can't do it themselves. School aged children can do themselves if taught and reminded. Afraid the culture today is a hands off policy.

You need to cover your child before school and provide a hat. The teacher can't be applying sun cram to 30 children can she? If you are that concerned you need to go in at lunch time and re apply.

Or he needs to learn to apply it himself.


Denimwithdenim00 · 30/06/2015 12:43

And why is he taking off his T shirt at school? That's very inappropriate.


Alanna1 · 30/06/2015 12:44

The school should have some sort of shade, but perhaps you or other parents could help the PTA fundraise for it? And in really hot weather, they should see if there are other options they could use. For your son, there is all day suncream that you can put on, and I'd make him wear a hat. Those swimming costume things get really hot if you are not in water. Good luck!


Seeline · 30/06/2015 12:45

Is this school or nursery?
I don't think it is normal to allow children to remove tops at school.
It is normal for parents to apply suncream before school and to supply suncream for the child to re-apply if necessary. It is also normal to send in a hat.
Teachers do not apply sun cream for the children.
At my DDs school they are not really allowed to apply their own cream during the day sue to the risk of others being 'contaminated' with other creams that they might be allergic to, so have to apply one a day stuff in the morning.


SophieJenkins · 30/06/2015 12:47

It's very inadvisable to be out in the sun between 11 and 3 on a day like this/

School is being negligent if they think this is acceptable

I would kick up a massive fuss but then I lost someone to melanoma and know how much it matters.

Sun burn in children should never, ever be taken lightly.


SophieJenkins · 30/06/2015 12:50

It's not about sun cream really, it's about taking them outside in the heat at the worst time of day.

If they insist on this then they ought to do it in the morning before it is so hot.

Sun lotion can be unreliable anyway. Sounds like the school could use some education, if they are letting the children take off clothing especially Shock


WorktoLive · 30/06/2015 12:50

Suncream applied in the morning is likely to have worn off by lunchtime so needs reapplying if playing outside in the afternoon. I absolutely would complain - it is not acceptable to be in full sun without protection at that time of day.


PartySmartie · 30/06/2015 12:50

The day he burned I covered his arms and neck/face (i.e all bits not covered by his t-shirt) in sun cream . She told him to take his shirt off so it didn't get wet. He had sunburn on shoulders/back but also his arms. He burns really easily. There is also a history on skin cancer in my family so I'm not sure if I'm being over careful. I don't let the children in the sun just for the sake of it between 11-3. He has a hat he wears to school and a spare sun hat in his locker. Sun cream is reapplied at lunch time because he comes home for lunch.

I'm not expecting her to put sun cream on. But I was expecting there to be shade provided (i.e. put a parasol up or something) if they are playing outside all afternoon.

OP posts:

HighwayDragon · 30/06/2015 12:52


obviously doesn't work in a school! Keeping 400 children indoors over lunch because it's sunny?! I can almost hear the parents outrage from here.

We're not allowed to put cream on them, or really help them with it though we do we just remind them.


TheHouseOnBellSt · 30/06/2015 12:52

She should not have told them to take tops off! She should have told parents to send a spare set in! At my DC school, water fights are pre-arranged and they bring a change in!


NoahVale · 30/06/2015 12:52

that is surprising
are you in UK?
I thought schools were Hot on this now.


SophieJenkins · 30/06/2015 12:56

Yanbu at all. It is REALLY important that this woman receives some education about the risks of sun exposure in children.

She sounds completely inept.

Please tell the school - in writing if poss, email will do - that you do not consent for your child to be outside in the full sun in this weather, with or without a t shirt on and that you will be making a formal complaint should this happen again.

Can you call them now and tell them to leave him inside? It is awful to think he is going to be at risk of burning again today. You still have time to stop this and protect him.


SophieJenkins · 30/06/2015 12:57

Highwaydragon - I understand your point and lunchtime play is generally short with access to some shade if wanted.

This is a deliberate, extra activity without shade, for no good reason, when the children would be safer indoors.


littlesupersparks · 30/06/2015 13:05

They should be encouraged to cover up MORE in the sun not less. Also agree that this is completely different to lunch time! Yanbu at all and a letter/email to follow this up
Would be sensible. Outside play first thing in morning ok, outside play in shade ok. Outside play between 12 and 3, no shade, no suncream, no alternative is very very very ill advised on the part of the school.

As a secondary school teacher if I was asked on behalf of a younger student to remind them to pop a hat on/apply their own suncream/head for shade I would do my utmost to do so. We have to take individual circumstances into consideration all the time when it comes to differentiating work etc, it's part of our job.


Thancred · 30/06/2015 13:07

The teacher can't put on sun cream I am afraid as it's against Ofsted safeguarding policy.

No, it's not against Ofsted policy. I'm also a cm and I rang ofsted a few weeks ago about this to check. They said so long as you have parental permission you can do it, you don't even need to use their suncream, you can use your own. I tell my parents I can provide suncream, I use Hawaiian Tropic kids factor 50. If they don't want this one used or their DC has allergies to it then they need to provide their own. I help them apply it at the same time as teaching them to do it themselves so that they'll eventually be able to apply it unaided.

Schools won't apply suncream because it takes too long to sort out 30 children, especially if each had their own bottle of cream, outdoor time would be over!


ChampagneBabyCakes · 30/06/2015 13:10

Maybe send her a polite note explaining his previous burns and that you are concerned about this. We are a very pale family and to be honest, we burn long before everybody else. I think most people don't realise how quickly some of us can burn.

On the hot summers days I put the daylong 50 cream on my DSs and they also have UV t shirts too. you said you were trying this - was it any better?

Sadly, lunch time falls in this 'too hot' zone and there is not much the school can do. In sure they would keep your son inside, but then he would be sad with all the others having a great time playing with water outside.

If you put it in writing nicely, then the teacher can have all the points clearly and can go from there.


Purplepixiedust · 30/06/2015 13:14

How old is your son? Presume quite little.

You are not unreasonable to mention to school as you did. On very hot days they should not be out for very long periods without shade and no need to take shirts off! Get some of the once a day sun cream.

Our school now provide sun cream free for the kids to apply and remind them to do it. It's great not having to do it before school!


SophieJenkins · 30/06/2015 13:23

In sure they would keep your son inside, but then he would be sad with all the others having a great time playing with water outside.

I bet he isn't the only one to have burned last time and won't be the only one to today Sad

They really need to rethink this.


RachelWatts · 30/06/2015 13:41

I don't see why she told him to take his shirt off. Anyone who thought about it for a moment would realise the children would not have sunscreen on the parts of their body normally covered by clothes.

In this heat, even if they got soaked, they'd dry out very quickly!


specialsubject · 30/06/2015 13:46

temperature is utterly irrelevant. Time of year and latitude are what matter.

sounds like the school should raise money for a gazebo.


BeautyQueenFromMars · 30/06/2015 13:51

The teacher can't put on sun cream I am afraid as it's against Ofsted safeguarding policy

The OP didn't mention asking the teacher to put on suncream - she put it on her son herself. She asked the teacher to keep an eye on her sun and make him go into the shade if he starts to burn.

OP, I think you were entirely reasonable.


XiCi · 30/06/2015 13:52

My dd is in reception. I put sun cream on her in the morning and the teacher or classroom assistant will top up during the day if it's hot. They just got verbal permission from the parents to do so. She also has a sunhat in her bag for hot days.

His teacher is an absolute idiot for telling him to take his top off in hot weather


SavoyCabbage · 30/06/2015 13:53

Telling dc to take their tops off in case they get them wet is an unusual way of going about things.

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