It'd never happen here.
Girl gets sunburn at school after suncream ban
A nine-year-old girl whose mother died from skin cancer was banned from applying suncream at school for health and safety reasons.
Source: The Daily TelegraphCaitlin Robinson is cautious of sun exposure after her mother died from a malignant melanoma but when she took a bottle of suncream to school during last week's heatwave she was prevented from applying it.
Health and safety regulations ban pupils from applying the cream themselves in case it comes into contact with a child who is allergic to it.
But teachers are not permitted to apply it because of concerns over personal contact and "potential pitfalls" such as applying the wrong lotion.
Caitlin, who is fair-skinned, came home from school suffering sunburn.
Her stepmother Karen Robinson said: "The school refused to allow my stepdaughter to apply suncream to herself during the day. Although I had applied suncream before the school day she still got burned.
"I explained that her mother died of skin cancer and she was of greater risk. I also explained that suncream does not last all day, even the ones that are for all-day application, due to being sweated off and rubbed off on clothing.
"I was not asking for the school to apply the cream, just that they allowed her to apply her own cream to herself. I really think it's disgusting.
"Caitlin was more than able to apply her own suncream and had done for many years, but they said it was for health and safety reasons because if another child has an allergy to suncream and it then drips on to that child or they pass the cream around."
The dispute at Perry Wood Primary School in Worcester was resolved when the school agreed to allow Caitlin to put suncream on under supervision.
Angela Beddow, the headmistress, said: "Once we became aware of the parent's concerns, we responded immediately by offering several solutions to resolve the situation, which has included putting a special care plan in place.
"This will enable the pupil in question to apply suncream under the supervision of a member of staff."
Katy Scammell, SunSmart campaign manager at Cancer Research UK, said: "It's important that children's skin is protected."
A spokesman for Worcestershire County Council backed up the regulations, saying the advice given to schools in hot weather is that staff should not apply sunscreen to pupils, even if it is requested by parents.
All i can say is.... wtf
It'd never happen here.
Thanks to too many scumbag lawyers and too many people who see lawsuits as a "get rich quick" scheme that does seem to be the way of the world these days...
It's all to do with applying something to the skin, such as plasters (which is another). I suppose in theory someone could have a bad reaction to sun cream as it's absorbed by the skin.
Thankfully most schools I have seen have had installed large shelters/tents (not exactly sure what you call them) to create a shaded area in the playground.
But that says nothing about kids applying it themselves!A spokesman for Worcestershire County Council backed up the regulations, saying the advice given to schools in hot weather is that staff should not apply sunscreen to pupils, even if it is requested by parents.
It's the courts fault for constantly ruling in favour of these rediculous claims, they should be told "stop wasting peoples time and grow up". The head is liable but come on....... if a child is allergic then they need to be responsible for themselves like we all were when we grew up!!!
It's a case of the individual with the 'real' problem is the one that suffers again - PC gone mad (again!).
Whatever happened to letting kids be kids. They'll all grow up and everyone will be walking around with inhalers, emergency tablets and masks.
There's limits to health and safety. Very few people are allergic to sunscreen, and mostly it causes an irritating rash. More people are likely to suffer sunburn than from the allergy, and sunburn can be very serious. Therefore any sane person would see that there's nothing wrong with allowing the suncream.
If you really want to be paranoid about it, insist only hypoallergenic sun cream is brought into schools.
I couldn't agree more. I've come to the conclusion that because Health and Safety has been formed/created or is at least a department of the Government, they must be seen to proactively create new policies or recommendations otherwise it'd be closed altogether probably.Therefore any sane person would see that there's nothing wrong with allowing the suncream.
The problem is I think it's getting to breaking point and that's why it annoys or frustrates people. I also think that this suing culture plays very much a part in the problem and as a result, everyone is tarnished with the same brush. Because one or two may have a bad reaction, no one is allowed to apply it.
I believe there was one suggestion about stopping children running in the playground, but thankfully it was rejected.
A bumped knee or grazed elbow is character building!
stevenlong1985 (24th July 2009)
I think you get the 'Health & Safety' people and then you get the 'Lets try to please the minority' people.
Safety is all about risk assessment - "how likely is it that X could happen" and "if X happens, how bad would it be"
In the sun cream case you're saying "how likely is it that it could be splashed or transferred onto someone else who could be harmed" and "if it splashed on someone else, what harm would it do"
The likelihood is not very high - kids in a playground do bump into each other but most won't come to any harm from it. The harm it would do is pretty minute; in most cases there might be mild itching.
The sensible response would be to do something like making sure that the school is notified of severe allergies and you then take steps to protect those children (perhaps isolate them or make sure they are covered up when other children are using sun cream)
It seems that too few people can do the basic maths involved in working out risk (I'd guess that's the reason so many people play the lottery etc) and so we get nonsense like this case!
I appreciate your dad is only doing a job, but I was referring more to the people that actually invent these new policies. The problem is where do you draw the line? I might get run over crossing the road, so I can't possibly go to work.My Dad is a health and safety manager, and this is not the case at all (at least in his company). His job is to create safer working environments, not to make things harder.
It's interesting the post above (especially the bold text). The number of deaths are still consistent but the paperwork has ballooned. It says a lot really.
Some Health and Safety elements are vital, such as the location of fire exits in a building and I have no problem with this. It's common sense and has no doubt saved lives.
Put it this way - if the school is not providing adequate protection for the children in their care during school hours (ie. allowing them to run around in the burning sun with no sunscreen (and actively preventing them from using it)) they have a very high chance of being sued. More so than if a child has an allergic reaction!!!
We actively tell our kids to bring sun screen in here on sunny days, and for things like walks and the like. Never been a problem, those with allergies are kept apart from the ones covering themselves in sunscreen, and they know not to go rubbing up against them. A bit of personal responsibility...
Last edited by localzuk; 24th July 2009 at 02:25 PM.
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