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2nd degree sunburn on my 11yr old on his school trip

5 replies

shel121 · 06/07/2009 00:13

My son returned home from a school trip ( 6 day) with 2nd degree burns to both shoulders, arms and back of neck. He is 11 yrs old and autistic (aspergers) sodoesnt alays follow instructions well. He was on an ativity holidayand went sailing for the day. He did nt apply suncream ad was told to take his t-shirt off to put on a wetsuit (which was sleeveless). He was out on the watr for 6 hours in 80 degrees heat. He is blonde and very fair skinned. In the evenin he told one his teachers he was burnt an they told him to splash cold water on his arms. My god, how stupid was that. They didn't even check him properly. He suffered all day the next day and came home the following day. I dread to think how much pain he was in. When I collected him from the coach I could see he wasn't right. The teacher said he has a little sunburn. When we got home I looked and he was so burnt I wanted to cry. His shoulders were on fire and this was 2 days later. Poor litle thing must have ben in so much pain. I treated his sunburn with the advice of a pharmacist,he screamed in pain that evening when I applied the cream, not realising quite how bad it actually was. I took him to A and E later that week as it was looking so bad and I was worried. The doctor said if he had seen him within 48 hours of the sunburn he would have referred him for infection prevention. He said he rarely saw sunburn so severe on a child and could not believe he had received no treatment. I was mortified. I sent a email to school about this and got a very defensive reply back from the teachers who went on the trip blaming my son. They admitted that he had mentione the sunburn but that they did not realise how bad it was because it hadn't blistered. Well it wouldnt that early on would it................I wrote to the centre and got a letter from the Manager who was very upset about it and carried out a full investigation. They have changed a lot of their policies because of this incident. However, the school are still very defensive. I went into see the headmaster and he apologised and said they would make sure it never happened again. Since then I decided to drop it but then I went into school the other day and one of the teachers involved came up to me and started talking aout it. It got a little heated and she again blamed my son and said he was told to put a sleeved t-shirt on. My son is adamant he was not but if he was told to remove it for a wetsuit he would have done. He is quite literal because of his aspergers. I feel that the school and the centre are equally to blame as there was a qualified instructor there as well that day from the centre. My son tells me the activity was not stpped for suncream application at all. I am considering taking this further as the doctor told me that my sons chances of skin cancer in later life have increased 10 fold by this incident as his skin was so badly damaged. I dont know what to do. I feel upset that te school have not even apologised, or particularly the teachers who were involved. My son was injured and they didn't care for him. He could have been so ill. He has been unwell since he returned. First a cold, now a chest infection. Maybe nothing to do with the sunburn but it makes me sooooo cross. I am sooooo angry!!! I haveprotected his skin since te day he was born and he ends up like this in someone elses care. I beleive that teachers should watch all children apply their suncream, especially when they are out on water etc in hot weather. For gods sake, I betthey would make their own children appply it. Children do not realise the consequences of not applying suncream. I am soooooo angry!!

OP posts:
AitchTwoOh · 06/07/2009 00:16

it sounds awful, you poor things. what do you want to happen now?

kylesmybaby · 06/07/2009 00:21

i can understand that you feel so angry - so would I. it might have helped you if the school had apologised and admitted they were completely in the wrong.

daisy99divine · 06/07/2009 00:38

you poor thing, and I agree that you must feel much worse because teh school have been so unhelpful

Well done the manager at the centre for what they have done

I suggest you take in their response and say "this is what the activity centre have done, what are you doing?" you could also contact the governors etc.

Also if you are worried about the skin cancer risk, you should ask what the actual risk is, a 10 fold increase could still be really really tiny (hopeful)

shel121 · 06/07/2009 16:10

Thanks for your replies. This is the first time I have posted here. I am not sure what to do now. I have even gone so far as to talk to a solicitor about it, who says I have a possible negligence case. I hate to do this to the school because I have such a lot of respect for the headmasterthere. He has been lovely to my son and I (my husband died in 2004) but I still feel very angry about the way they have treated this incident.

I have spoken to the education authority today who say I should write an offical complaint to school about this and take it from there. Stll thinking.................

OP posts:
daisy99divine · 06/07/2009 16:41

I really wouldn't do solicitor and negligence first. You will not get response from school, it will be sent to their insurance. If you want responsive dealing with the situation then complaint/ governors/ education authority/ request to look at what the manager of the outdoor centre has said/ requset for non-judgmental apology etc all going to work better

if you want to brnig a negligence claim you still have time afterward but it will be costly and uncertain and not improve things imho

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