Sunscreen banned from public schools?

MONDAY, June 25, 2012 — We all know about the importance of using sunscreen. Did you know it isn't allowed in many public schools?

As mom Jesse Michener discovered, many public schools consider sunscreen to be a medication that requires a doctor's note to apply.

When her daughters Zoe and Violet came home from a school field day with serious burns, Michener was furious. Both children were taken to the hospital that night with headaches, chills, and pain.

"Prolonged sun exposure leads to burns," Michener, a freelance photographer and videographer, wrote on her blog. "Either put sunscreen on or, at the very least, remove the child from the sun. A simple call would have brought me to that school in minutes to assist my kids."

School Sunscreen Ban: What You Can Do

Since the sunburn incident, Michener reports on her blog, she's heard from the director of elementary education in Tacoma that a new law has passed allowing individual school districts to decide what is and isn't allowed regarding sunscreen application at school.

Parents may want to check with their local schools about any policy affecting sunscreen use. "I'm a mom," says Stein. "For my kids, a parent can sign a permission slip to say it's okay to put sunscreen on." She recommends that along with the slip, parents provide a "safe" sunscreen — one that's been tested to make sure there's no allergic reaction — for their kids to take to school.

Michener told the Huffington Post she's heard from people all over the country and is working with others to research what can be done to revise sunscreen policies in public schools: "I'm out to change policy that ties their hands from making good decisions."


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