Teachers have barred children from bringing sunscreen into school for fear that they will share it with others who are allergic.*sigh*
Parents have been told that in order to protect their children from the sun they will either have to apply a 12-hour sunscreen before school or come in at lunchtime and re-apply the cream.Well, of course, everyone’s got time to do that, haven’t they?
And employers will be quite happy for mothers to nip out for a long lunch to apply suncream to their nine year olds, I’m sure…
Catriona Hoy, 45, was amazed when she heard about the ban from her nine-year-old daughter Kiera.Yeah, but that would be too simple, obviously. Far easier to just slap a blanket prohibition on something.
'I think it's absolutely ridiculous. I understand some children could be allergic but surely the danger of skin cancer and sun damage outweigh allergies,' she said.
'Surely they could just tell the children not to share their sunscreen, or keep it locked in a cupboard, clearly labelled with the children's names.'
It’s the parental equivalent of ‘I don’t know (or am too lazy to find out) who wrote ‘Miss sucks!’ on the notice board, so I’m keeping you all in after school…’
Mrs Hoy, a children's author and chemistry teacher whose other daughter Caitlyn, 11, also attends the school, added: 'Some children may be allergic to wheat but they haven't banned sandwiches in case the children share lunch-boxes.'Oh, great! Now you’ve given them an idea….
She added: 'I'm a working mother - I don't have the luxury of time to be able to come to school and apply it. I do not expect the teachers to apply it either.Strewth! Teaching children to be self-sufficient and able to do things for themselves?
'Both my daughters are old enough to be able to apply it themselves and that's what we should be teaching our children - to protect themselves.'
What kind of a school do you think this is….?
Headteacher Gayle Mawson today stressed the school's concerns about allergies and cross-infection but said there was not enough time for staff to apply sun-cream to 550 pupils.Have you actually asked them?
She added: 'We take the health and well-being of our children very seriously. We believe that if parents apply sunscreen at home then they are in control of the situation and we feel that that is what most parents would want.'
Or have you just assumed this is what they want, because it suits you to do so?
The expected charities and groups are up in arms:
The ban drew sharp criticism today from David Longman, director of charity Killing Cancer, based at the University College Hospital, London.Mmm, bit strident there, but I get your gist.
He said: 'It's insane. Of course children should have sunscreen and learn how to apply it.
'I have not yet come across anyone who is allergic to sun screen but I have come across a lot of children who are allergic to the sun.
'It is absolutely lunatic of any school, head teacher or set of governors to think they should ignore this ticking time bomb.'
And this idiocy isn’t confined to schools. This related issue shows the real reason for the ‘elf and safety gone mad aspect:
Royal Mail bosses have stopped supplying postmen with sun cream - for fear the company could be sued if staff fail to use it and develop skin cancer.Yup, it’s the ‘Oh my god, we might be sued!’ factor yet again, which I suspect is driving the schools issue too.
Norwich staff have been given factor-15 lotion for their rounds over the past two summers but company lawyers have called a halt.
Melly Hill, of the Communication Workers Union, said: 'The legal people looked at it and said that if Royal Mail provided sun cream and then people didn't use it and got skin cancer then they would be liable.'
But are they right? If you issue employees with safety equipment, but they don’t use it, as long as you’ve issued it, trained them correctly, deal with repeated breaches where possible, etc then surely you can’t be held liable?