Doing the most unreasonable things in order to cover yourselves just in case something might happen. In France, they have an expression for that: it’s called the “precautionary principle” and it has become a way of life. If we don’t take risks or act on anything, nothing bad can happen, right?
In the U.S., it is also getting out of hand.
At North East Independent School District in Texas, sunscreen was banned, even though some children came back sunburned after a field trip. Why? Because it is a “toxic” product.
Riggs said her 10-year-old daughter went on a school field trip recently and came back sun-burned. Riggs said district policy didn’t allow her daughter to bring sunscreen to reapply.
“When you have a school field trip or a field day (in) which they’re out there for an extended period of time, they should be allowed to carry sunscreen and reapply,” said Riggs.
Riggs said skin cancer runs in her family and her father recently passed away from it.
But, NEISD spokeswoman Aubrey Chancellor said sunscreen is considered a medication, something children need a doctor’s note to have at school.
“Typically, sunscreen is a toxic substance, and we can’t allow toxic things in to be in our schools,” Chancellor said.
Chancellor said if parents know their child may be outdoors, they should come to school fully covered in sunscreen. At this time, she said, sunscreen can’t be brought by students to school campuses.
“We have to look at the safety of all of our students and we can’t allow children to share sunscreen,” she said. “They could possibly have an allergic reaction (or) they could ingest it. It’s really a dangerous situation.”
Kids can do stupid things sometimes – they learn – and yes, allergies happen. But then almost anything around them has to be taken into account. Field trips? What about pollen or mosquito bites allergies? Or plant toxicity? Like the mother mentioned in the report, what about glue? What if some kids decide to try and lick their color pencil?
That is also the role of teachers and school staff to make sure nothing bad happens.
Sunscreen has to be reapplied every few hours to be effective. Children’s skin is especially sensitive to sunburn. Preventing children from reapplying sunscreen under a Texas sun for so-called precautionary reasons is putting children in danger, 1) without evidence that such allergies would develop, 2) simply to take the easy way and refuse to do one’s job of monitoring the children when they are in the school’s care.