A mom named Christy Riggs has gone to battle with her daughter's school, because the San Antonio, Texas district has banned sunscreen. Apparently, the North East Independent School District won't allow students to bring block with them to school -- even when they're outside on a field trip -- because it's considered a toxic substance. Yes, really.
School district spokesperson Aubrey Chancellor said allergies are just one of several reasons why they won't allow it, claiming that students may share it, get it in their eyes, and have a serious reaction. Rrrright. But isn't getting sunburned -- even once, very badly, which studies show could double chances of melanoma -- considered a "serious reaction," as well?!
Unsurprisingly, Riggs' daughter -- who has very pale skin -- DID get burned during a field trip as a result of this bonkers policy. Ugh.
Let me first say that I can understand why anyone would be concerned about kids using certain sunscreens. The chemical ones that contain oxybenzone -- which is readily absorbed into the body and has been inked to allergies, hormone disruption, cell damage -- may potentially cause more harm than good. But there are plenty of physical sunblocks that use zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide, which sit atop the skin, to deflect both UVB and UVA rays.
But to ban ALL sunscreens seems nothing short of asinine. What kind of message does that send kids? That getting sun damage beats using sunblock? Unfortunately, misguided policies like this that moms like Riggs have to fight only serve to make it even MORE important for parents to talk to kids about the importance of sun protection -- and to ensure that those healthy habits we're teaching them can continue to be easily practiced at their schools sans copious amounts of red tape.
For the time being, the Texas school district plans to "treat sunscreen like a medicine," requiring kids to get a doctor's note to have it at school and to go to the nurse's office to reapply. They'll also reconsider their policy annually, but for the time being, fingers crossed parents and kids are willing to jump through all of these absurd hoops to keep sunburn at bay.
How do you feel about this policy?
Image via Robert Neff/Flickr