No Sunscreen at School?


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Schools are required to meet the needs of thousands of children of all ages and abilities across the country each year.  Decisions they make with regard to educational policies are usually designed to do the most good for the most students. Occasionally, though, guidelines adopted by public schools actually do harm – consider the following recent news item.

 

It is now common for schools to avoid dispensing medicine to students. In many cases, schools will not even allow children to ingest medicine themselves while on school grounds – without a doctor’s note at the very least.

It seems last week that two sisters headed off to school and because it was raining that morning when they left, the mother did not apply sunscreen – even though the girls were particularly sensitive to the sun (one has a form of albinism). Once at school the weather cleared up and the girls attended an outdoor field day event. Over the course of the day both were exposed to the sun to a point they were sunburned by the time they arrived home.

 

According to school policy – the girls were not permitted to apply sunscreen while at school. The reason for this is the school district claimed it banned sunscreen in response to a state law. “Because so many additives in lotions and sunscreens cause allergic reaction in children, you have to really monitor that,” said a district spokesperson.

 

In fact: sunscreens are regulated by the FDA as an over the counter drug; and many American schools don’t allow them without a doctor’s note – California being the only state to allow sunscreen in school without one!

 

This probably is another example of trying to legislate or regulate many things and probably just “common sense”. While it may seem funny that school districts may not allow sunscreen, the bigger issue is how do school districts uniformly address issues such as medication and other things while at school.

 

With almost every situation, or law you can find examples that technically fall within the law but don’t seem to make any logical sense.  In an attempt to have “policies” for almost every situation a school employee may encounter we find funny examples such as this.

 

For those of you who find yourself in Texas for the summer, I recommend plenty of sunscreen and make sure your family drinks water constantly to avoid dehydration in our summer heat. If your children play sports, make sure that they drink some form of electrolyte replacement in addition to plenty of water.

 

Greg Baumgartner is attorney  and the founder of the Baumgartner law firm, a Texas personal injury law firm dedicated to helping families of people injured or killed in auto accidents. For a free no obligation consultation with a car accident attorney in Austin call the Baumgartner law firm at 281-587-1111.

 

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