Thursday, June 03, 2010

Schools, Sunblock & Skin Cancer

Tuesday was the yearly swim party for MonkeyDo's class.

Every year, each grade has a day that they go to the nearby public pool for a swim party.

Even the year they went in the rain. (If you're in NorCal & complaining about the weather: this isn't new.)

Every year they're instructed to bring a bathing suit, a towel and sunblock.

Every year I get a Monkey back looking like this:

Um. What?

Every time I ask: Didn't they tell you to put your sunblock on?


Didn't they give you time to put your sunblock on?


I cannot imagine that it is that hard to give the kids five minutes to put on the sunblock you told them to bring. Before you leave for the pool.

It's highly possible that they're expecting elementary kids to be mature enough to stop at the pool and put the sunblock on before they start playing. However, if you know anything about proper sunblock use, you know that when they get to the pool it is already too late to apply sunblock.

Well. If you want it to work, that is.

I'm bordering on outraged about this.

This is the school that cannot serve sugar sweetened treats (district policy)(although artificial sweeteners are no problem)(because that makes sense).

This is the school that called CPS when MonkeyDo came to school crying after getting in trouble for breaking the rules*.

But they can condemn my Monkey to future skin cancer for want of five minutes of time directed to applying sunblock she was instructed to bring with her?

I've gotten some feedback that some school consider sunblock a drug and, also, that there is the potential for reactions to certain kinds of sunblock.

And I understand that. I do.

But when you direct parents to provide sunblock, it becomes the responsibility of the parent to provide sunblock that is compatible with their child's skin.

It remains, in my opinion, the responsibility of the teacher to provide sufficient time for children to apply the sunblock before departing for the pool party.

I do not think this is unreasonable or out of line.

There is only so much I, as a parent, can do when the optimum time for applying sunblock occurs while she is at school.

Am I wrong?

*Oh, yes they did. There is nothing like the special joy that comes from answering a phone call only to have a CPS worker on the other end of the line. Also? I hate that they don't give you any information about the complaint or the complainant and I firmly believe that when a complaint is unfounded, that information should be made available to the parents or guardians in question.

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