Texas School Bans Suncreen, Child Seriously Burned

A Texas school reportedly banned sunscreen and allowed a student to get burned. Christy Riggs said her daughter returned from a school field trip with a painful burn. Although the students were swimming for at least six hours, they were not allowed to apply sunscreen.

The North East Independent School District has identified sunscreen as a toxic substance. According to school administrators, the lotion is treated like any other medication. School district spokeswoman Aubrey Chancellor said sunscreen can cause a wide variety of issues, including allergic reaction.

Students and parents are encouraged to apply sunscreen before reporting to school. However, they are not allowed to reapply the lotion throughout the day. Chancellor said “students are welcome to keep sunscreen in the nurse’s office and go there to reapply.”

Although the school nurse can reapply the sunscreen at the school, Christy Riggs’ daughter was on a field trip. Riggs said she is specifically cautious as her father suffered with skin cancer.

As a precaution, Riggs always encourages her daughter to wear sunscreen. The concerned mother said her daughter “has very pale skin” and is prone to getting burned.

As reported by GMA, Riggs understands the sunscreen ban — to a degree. However, she believes the school should make an exception during outdoor field trips. Riggs said wearing sunscreen is specifically important because “skin cancer is on the rise.”

Riggs said the schools often promote a healthy lifestyle, including nutritional foods and exercise. She believes sunscreen is equally important.

Chancellor said the rule is being reviewed by the school board. However, until it is repealed, sunscreen is still banned.

In 2012, three Point Defiance Elementary school students were severely burned in a similar situation. Jesse Michener said her three daughters required medical care for the burns.

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As reported by KAUT News, the Tacoma Public School District policy is similar to the policy in Texas. Michener said relying on the school nurse is impractical during field trips. If the children are sweating or playing in water, they may require numerous applications throughout the day.

It is unclear whether either school will reconsider their sunscreen ban. Although the rules may seem harsh, most schools have strict guidelines about medications. While many schools do not classify sunscreen as a toxic or medical substance, others do. The specific guidelines are usually defined by the individual school board.

As numerous schools have banned sunscreen, parents are considering filing formal complaints.

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