A 10-year-old San Antonio, Texas student recently went on a field trip with her class with the sunscreen her mother packed for her to protect her from the sun. It wasn’t until later that the mother and daughter found out that the North East Independent School District has banned students from bringing sunscreen to school and on field trips. Why is this banned? Because, according to the school district, the sunscreen is considered a toxic substance.
Christy Riggs, mother of the student says, “The school wants us to lather our kids up in sunscreen before school, but when they’re outside all day or swimming, the need to be reapplying every couple hours.” As a result of not being able to have the sunscreen, Riggs’ daughter got a sunburn after the field trip.
Why Ban Sunscreen?
According to the district’s spokeswoman, Aubrey Chancellor, one of the reasons for the ban is because of allergic reactions to ingredients found in sunblock, and the fear that students may share sunscreen or possibly get it in their eye.
Chancellor says in its 72 schools, sunscreen is treated as a medicine, and requires a doctor’s note to have it at school. Students are then able to keep the sunscreen in the nurse’s office and reapply it when needed.
Studies have shown that having one bad burn can double the chances of getting melanoma, which is one of Riggs’ main concerns. “Our family has very pale skin,” says Riggs, “and my father actually passed away from skin cancer earlier this year.”
With skin cancer on the rise, the need for children to know the dangers of extreme sun exposure is important. On the other hand, Chancellor says there is a chance the school district will revise their sunscreen ban.
What do you think about the sunscreen ban in this school district? Since there is a ban, should the school nurse provide sunscreen to students who are more susceptible to sunburns?